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My Dear Sir, 

If I had not enjoyed the happiness of your private friend- 
ship, I should still have dedicated this work to you, as a slight and 
most inadequate acknowledgment of the inestimable services you are 
rendering to the literature of your country, and of the lasting benefits 
you will confer upon the authors of this and succeeding generations, by 
securing to them and their descendants a permanent interest in the 
copyright of their works. 

Many a fevered head and palsied hand will gather new vigour in 
the hour of sickness and distress from your excellent exertions ; many 
a widowed mother and orphan child, who would otherwise reap nothing 
from the fame of departed genius but its too frequent legacy of poverty 
and suffering, will bear, in their altered condition, higher testimony to 
the value of your labours than the most lavish encomiums from lip or 
pen could ever afford. 

Beside such tributes, any avowal of feeling from me, on the question 
to which you have devoted the combined advantages of your eloquence, 
character, and genius, would be powerless indeed. Nevertheless, in 
thus publicly expressing my deep and grateful sense of your efforts in 


belialf of Englisli literature, and of those wlio devote tlienisclvcs to the 
most precarious of all pursuits, I do but imperfect justice to my own 
strong feelings on the subject, if I do no service to you. 

These few sentences would have comprised all I should have had to 
say, if I had only known you in your public character. On the score 
of private feeling, let me add one word more. 

Accept the dedication of this book, my dear Sir, as a mark of my 
warmest regard and esteem — as a memorial of the most gratifying 
friendship I have ever contracted, and of some of the pleasantest hours 
I have ever spent — as a token of my fervent admiration of every fine 
quality of your head and heart — a.s an assurance of the truth and sin- 
cerity with which I shall ever be, 

!My dear Sir, 

]Most faithfully and sincerely yours, 


48, Doughty Street, 

September 27, 1037. 


The author's object in this work, was to place before the 
reader a constant succession of characters and incidents ; to paint 
them in as vivid colours as he could command; and to render 
them, at the same time, life-like and amusing. 

Deferring to the judgment of others in the outset of the un- 
dertaking, he adopted the machinery of the club, which was 
suggested as that best adapted to his purpose : but, finding that 
it tended rather to his embarrassment than otherwise, he gra- 
dually abandoned it, considering it a matter of very little impor- 
tance to the work whether strictly epic justice were awarded to 
the club, or not. 

The publication of the book in monthly numbers, containing 
only thirty-two pages in each, rendered it an object of para- 
mount importance that, while the different incidents were linked 
together by a chain of interest strong enough to prevent their 
appearing unconnected or impossible, the general design should 
be so simple as to sustain no injury from this detached and 
desultory form of publication, extending over no fewer than 


twenty montlis. In short, it was necessary — or it appeared so 
to the author — that every number should be, to ascertain extent, 
complete in itself, and yet that the whole twenty numbers, when 
collected, should form one tolerably harmonious whole, each 
leading to the other by a gentle and not unnatural progress of 

It is obvious that in a work published with a view to such 
considerations, no artfully interwoven or ingeniously complicated 
plot can with reason be expected. The author ventures to 
express a hope that he has successfully surmounted the dif- 
ficulties of his undertaking. And if it be objected to the 
Pickwick Papers, that they are a mere series of adventures, 
in which the scenes are ever changing, and the characters come 
and go like the men and women we encounter in the real world, 
he can only content himself with the reflection, that they claim 
to be nothing else, and that the same objection has been made 
to the works of some of the greatest novelists in the English 

The following pages have been written from time to time, 
almost as the periodical occasion arose. Having been written 
for the most part in the society of a very dear young friend 
who is now no more, they are connected in the author's mind 
at once with the happiest period of his life, and with its saddest 
and most severe affliction. 

It is due to the gentleman, whose designs accompany the 
letter-press, to state that the interval has been so short between 
the production of each number in manuscript and its appear- 
ance in print, that the greater portion of the Illustrations have 


been executed by the artist from the author's mere verbal de- 
scription of what he intended to write. 

The almost unexampled kindness and favour with which these 
papers have been received by the public will be a never-faiHng 
source of gratifying and pleasant recollection while their author 
lives. He trusts that, throughout this book, no incident or 
expression occurs which could call a blush into the most deli- 
cate check, or wound the feelings of the most sensitive per- 
son. If any of his imperfect descriptions, while they afford 
amusement in the perusal, should induce only one reader to 
think better of his fellow men, and to look upon the brighter 
and more kindly side of human nature, he would indeed be 
proud and happy to have led to such a result. 



Chapter I. — The Pickwickians ...... 1 

Chap. II The first Day's Journey, and the first Evening's Adventures ; 

with their consequences ...... 5 

Chap. III. — A new Acquaintance. The Stroller's Tale — A disagreeable 

Interruption ; and an unpleasant Rencontre . . . .25 

Chap. IV. — A Field day and Bivouac — More new Friends ; and an 

Invitation to the Country ...... 34 

Chap. V. — A short one — showing, annong other matters, how Mr. Pick- 
wick undertook to drive, and Mr. Winkle to ride ; and how they both 
did it . . . . . . . . .43 

Chap. VI. — An old-fashioned Card Party — The Clergyman's Verses — 

The Story of the Convict's Return . . . . .51 

Chap. VII. — How Mr. Winkle, instead of shooting at the Pigeon and kill- 
ing the Crow, shot at the Crow and wounded the Pigeon ; how the 
Dingley Dell Cricket Club played all Muggleton, and how all Muggle- 
ton dined at the Dingley Dell expense : with other interesting and in- 
structive matters ....... G2 

Chap. VIII. — Strongly illustrative of the Position, that the course of true 

love is not a Railway ....... 73 

Chap. IX. — A Discovery and a Chase .... .83 

Chap. X. — Clearing up all Doubts (if any existed) of the Disinterestedness 

of Mr. Jingle's Character ...... 90 

Chap. XI. — Involving another Journey, and an Antiquarian Discovery. 
Recording Mr. Pickwick's determination to be present at an Election ; 
and containing a Manuscript of the old Clergyman's . . . 101 

Chap. XII. — Descriptive of a very important Proceeding on the part of 

Mr. Pickwick ; no less an epoch in his Life than in this History . 1 15 

Chap. XIII. — Some Account of Eatanswill ; of the state of Parties there- 
in ; and of the Election of a Member to serve in Parliament for that 
anpient, loyal, and patriotic Borough ..... 120 



Chap. XIV. — Comprising a brief Description of the Company at the Pea- 

cock assembled ; and a Tale told by a Bagman . . .134 

Crap. XV. — In which is given a faithful Portraiture of two distin- 
guished Persons; and an accurate description of a Public Breakfast 
in their House and Grounds : which Public Breakfast leads to the Re- 
cognition of an old Acquaintance, and the commencement of another 
Chapter ........ 147 

Chap. XVI. — Too full of Adventure to be briefly described . .158 

Chap. XVII. — Showing that an Attack of Rheumatism, in some cases, 

acts as a Quickener to Inventive Genius .... 172 

Chap. XVIII. — Briefly illustrative of two Points : — First, the Power of 

Hysterics, and, Secondly, the Force of Circumstances . .179 

Chap. XIX. — A pleasant Day, with an unpleasant Termination . 187 

Chap. XX Showing how Dodson and Fogg were Men of Business, and 

their Clerks Men of Pleasure ; and how an affecting Interview took 
place between Mr. Weller and his long-lost Parent ; showing also, 
what Choice Spirits assembled at the Magpie and Stump, and what a 
capital Chapter the next one will be . . . .198 

Chap. XXI. — In which the old Man launches forth into his favourite 

theme, and relates a Story about a queer Client . . .211 

Chap. XXII. — Mr. Pickwick journeys to Ipswich, and meets with a 

romantic Adventure with a middle-aged Lady in Yellow Curl Papers 224 

Chap. XXIII. — In which Mr. Samuel Weller begins to devote his energies 

to the Return Match between Himself and Mr. Trotter . . 236 

Chap. XXIV. — Wherein Mr. Peter Magnus grows jealous, and the 
middle-aged Lady apprehensive, which brings the Pickwickians within 
the Grasp of the Law ....... 243 

Chap. XXV. — Showing, among a variety of pleasant matters, how ma- 
jestic and impartial Mr. Nupkins was ; and how Mr. Weller returned 
Mr. Job Trotter's Shuttlecock, as heavily as it came. With another 
matter, which will be found in its place .... 255 

Chap. XXVI. — Which contains a brief account of the Progress of the 

Action of Bardell against Pickwick ..... 269 

Chap. XXVII. — Samuel Weller makes a Pilgrimage to Dorking, and 

beholds his Mother-in-law ...... 275 

Chap. XXVIII. — A good-humoured Christmas Chapter, containing an ac- 
count of a Wedding, and some other Sports beside, which, although in 
their way even as good customs as Marriage itself, are not quite so 
religiously kept up, in these degenerate times . . . 282 

Chap. XXVIII * ^The Story of the GobUns who stole a Sexton . 299 



Chap. XXIX. — How the Pickwickians made and cultivated the Ac- 
quaintance of a couple of nice Young Men belonging to one of the 
Liberal Professions ; how they disported themselves on the Ice ; and 
how their Visit came to a conclusion .... 307 

Chap. XXX. — Which is all about the Law, and sundry Great Authorities 

learned therein . . . . . • .316 

Chap. XXXI. — Describes, far more fully than the Court Newsman ever 
did, a Bachelor's Party, given by Mr. Bob Sawyer at his Lodgings in 
the Borough . ....... 328 

Chap. XXXII. — Mr. Weller the elder delivers some Critical Sentiments 
respecting Literary Composition ; and, assisted by his son Samuel, 
pays a small Instalment of Retaliation to the account of the Reverend 
Gentleman with the Red Nose ..... 339 

Chap. XXXIII. — Is wholly devoted to a full and faithful Report of the 

memorable Trial of Bardell against Pickwick . . . 352 

Chap. XXXIV In which Mr. Pickwick thinks he had better go to Bath; 

and goes accordingly . . . , . . .371 

Chap. XXXV. — The chief features of which will be found to be an au- 
thentic Version of the Legend of Prince Bladud, and a most extraor- 
dinary Calamity that befel Mr. Winkle «... 383 

Chap. XXXVI. — Honourably accounts for Mr. Weller's Absence, by de- 
scribing a Soiree to which he was invited and went Also relates how 

he was entrusted by Mr. Pickwick with a Private Mission of Delicacy 

and Importance ....... 392 

Chap. XXXVII. — How Mr. Winkle, when he stepped out of the Frying- 
pan, walked gently and comfortably into the Fire . . . 403 

Chap. XXXVIII — Mr. Samuel Weller, being entrusted with a Mission of 

Love, proceeds to execute it ; with what success will hereinafter appear 413 

Chap. XXXIX. — Introduces Mr. Pickwick to a new, and it is hoped not 

uninteresting scene, in the great Drama of Life . . . 425 

Chap. XL. — What befel Mr. Pickwick when he got into the Fleet ; what 

Debtors he saw there ; and how he passed the Night . . 435 

Chap. XLI. — Illustrative, like the preceding one, of the old Proverb, that 
Adversity Ijrings a Man acquainted with strange Bed-fellows. Like- 
wise containing Mr. Pickwick's extraordinary and startling announce- 
ment to Mr. Samuel Weller . . . . . .445 

Chap. XLII. — Showing how Mr. Samuel Weller got into difficulties . 456 

Chap. XLIII — Treats of divers little matters which occurred in the Fleet, 
and of Mr. Winkle's mysterious Behaviour ; and shows how the poor 
Chancery Prisoner obtained his Release at last , , , 4fi7 



CiiA!'. XLIV. — Descriptive of an affecting Interview between Mr. Samuel 
Weller and a Family Party. Mr. Pickwick makes a Tour of the dimi- 
nutive World he inhabits, and resolves to mix with it in future as little 
as possible ........ 478 

Chap. XLV. — Records a touchinfj Act of delicate Feeling, not unmixed 

with Pleasantry, achieved and performed by Messrs. Dodson and Fogg. 491 

Chap. XLVI. — Is chiefly devoted to matters of business, and the tem- 
poral Advantage of Dodson and Fogg — Mr. Winkle re-appears under 
extraordinary circumstances ; and Mr. Pickwick's Benevolence proves 
stronger than his Obstinacy ...... 499 

Chap. XLVII. — Relates how Mr. Pickwick, with the assistance of Samuel 
Weller, essayed to soften tlie heart of Mr. Benjamin Allen, and to 
mollify the wrath of Mr. Robert Sawyer .... 508 

Chap. XLVIIL— Containing the Story of the Bagman's Uncle . • 518 

Chap. XLIX.— How Mr. Pickwick sped upon his Mission, and how he 

was reinforced in the Outset by a most unexpected Auxiliary . 531 

Chap. L. — In which Mr. Pickwick encounters an old Acquaintance, to 
which fortunate circumstance the Reader is mainly indebted for matter 
of thrilling interest herein set down, concerning two great Public Men 
of might and power • . . • • • • 542 

Chap. LI. Involving a serious Change in the Weller family, and the 

untimely downfall of the red-nosed Mr. Stiggins . . . 553 

Chap. LIL— Comprising the final exit of Mr. Jingle and Job Trotter; 
with a Great Morning of Business in Gray's Inn Square. Concluding 
with a Double Knock at Mr. Perker's door . . . . 5G3 

Chap. LIII.— Containing some Particulars relative to the Double Knock, 
and other Matters, among which certain Interesting Disclosures 
relative to Mr. Snodgrass and a Young Lady are by no means 
irrelevant to this History . . • • • . j/o 

Chap. LIV.— Mr. Solomon Pell, assisted by a Select Committee of Coach- 
men, arranges the Affairs of the elder Mr. Weller . . .585 

Chap. LV.— An Important Conference takes place between Mr. Pickwick 
and Samuel Weller, at which his Parent assists.— An old Gentleman in 
a snuff-coloured Suit arrives unexpectedly .... 594 

Chap. LVI.— In which the Pickwick Club is finally dissolved, and every- 
thing concluded to the satisfaction of everybody . . 6^* 


The under-mentioned Plates, wliich have no annexed references, are to he placed 

in the following order .- — 

Mr. Winkle entering the Sedan Chair, (No. 13.) 
The Card Table at Bath, (No. U.) 
The Drinking Party at Bob Sawyer's (No. 14.) 
Mr. Pickwick Sitting for his Portrait, (No, 14.) 
Mr. Mivins Dancing in the Warden's Room, (No. 15.) 
Discovery of Mr. Jingle in the Fleet, (No. 15.) 
Mr. Stiggins discoursing, (No. 16.) . . 

Mrs. Bardell recognising Mr. Pickwick, (No. 16.; 
Mr. Winkle disclosing his Marriage, on his knees, (No 
The Bagman's Uncle, (No. 17.) ... 

Bob Sawyer on the Roof of the Chaise, (No. 18.) 
The Combat between the Rival Editors, (No. 18.) 
The Fat Boy and Mary (No. ly and 20.) 
Tlie Coachmen Drinking the Toast (Nos. 19 and 20.) 

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Page 1, line 9, for 1817, read 1827. 

Page 185, line 25, for 1830, read 1827. 

Page 202, line 30, for 1830, read 1827. 

Page 278, line 40, for the elder Mr. Samuel, read the elder Mr. Weller. 

Page 342, line 5, for S. Veller, Esq., Senior, read Tony Veller, Esq. 

Page 541, line 12, for Sun Court, Cornhill, read George Yard, Lombard Street. 






The first ray of light which illumines the gloom, and converts into u 
dazzling brilliancy that obscurity in which the earlier history of the public 
career of the immortal Pickwick would appear to be involved, is derived 
from the perusal of the following entry in the Transactions of the Pick- 
wick Club, which the editor of these papers feels the highest pleasure 
in laying before his readers, as a proof of the careful attention, inde- 
fatigable assiduity, and nice discrimination, with which his search among 
the multifarious documents confided to him has been conducted. 

« May 12, 1817. Joseph Smiggers, Esq., P. V. P. M. P. C* pre- 
siding. The following resolutions unanimously agreed to. 

" That this Association has heard read, with feelings of unmingled 
satisfaction, and unqualified approval, the paper communicated by Samuel 
Pickwick, Esq., G.C. M. P. C.f entitled " Speculations on the Source of 
the Hampstead Ponds, with Some Observations on the Theory of Tittle- 
bats ;" and that this Association does hereby return its warmest thanks 
to the said Samuel Pickwick, Esq., G. C. M. P. C. for the same. 

" That while this Association is deeply sensible of the advantages 
which must accrue to the cause of science, from the production to which 
they have just adverted, no less than from the unwearied researches of 
Samuel Pickwick, Esq., G. C. M. P. C. in Hornsey, Highgate, Brixton, 
and Camberwell; they cannot but entertain a lively sense of the ines- 
timable benefits which must inevitably result from carrying the specu- 
lations of that learned man into a wider field, from extending his 
travels, and consequently enlarging his sphere of observation ; to the 
advancement of knowledge, and the diflfusion of learning. 

"That with the view, just mentioned, this Association has taken 
into its serious consideration a proposal, emanating from the aforesaid 
Samuel Pickwick, Esq., (i.C. M. P. C, and three other Pickwickians 
hereinafter named, for forming a new branch of United Pickwickians 
under the title of The Corret^ponding Society of the Pickwick Club. 

• Perpetual Vice Presiilcnt — Member Pickwi.'k Club. — Ed. 
1- Geueral Chairman -Member Pickwick Club. — Ed. 


" That the saiil proposal has received the sanction and approval of 
this Association. 

"That the Corresponding Society of the Pickwick Club is therefore 
hereby constituted ; and that Samuel Pickwick, Esq. G.C. M.P.C., 
Tracy Tupman, Esq., M.P.C., Augustus Snodgrass, Esq., M.P.C., 
and Nathaniel Winkle, Esq., M.P.C., are hereby nominated and ap- 
pointed members of the same : and that they be requested to forward, 
from time to time, authenticated accounts of their journeys and inves- 
tigations ; of their observations of character and manners ; and of the 
whole of their adventures, together with all tales and papers, to which 
local scenery or associations may give rise, to the Pickwick Club, 
stationed in London. 

" That this association cordially recognises the principle of every 
member of the Corresponding Society defraying his own travelling 
expenses ; and that it sees no objection whatever to the members of 
the said society pursuing their inquiries for any length of time they 
please, upon the same terms. 

" That the members of the aforesaid Corresponding Society, be, and are, 
hereby informed, that their proposal to pay the postage of their letters, and 
the carriage of their parcels, has been deliberated upon, by this Associa- 
tion. That this Association considers such proposal worthy of the 
great minds from which it emanated ; and that it hereby signifies its 
perfect acquiescence therein." 

A casual observer, adds the secretary, to whose notes we are indebted 
for the following account — a casual observer might possibly have 
remarked nothing extraordinary in the bald head, and circular spectacles, 
which were intently turned towards his (the secretary's) face, during 
the reading of the above resolutions. To those who knew that the 
gigantic brain of Pickwick was working beneath that forehead, and that 
the beaming eyes of Pickwick were twinkling behind thdse glasses, 
the sight was indeed an interesting one. There sat the man who had 
traced to their source the mighty ponds of Hampstead, and agitated 
the scientific world with his Theory of Tittlebats, as calm and unmoved 
as the deep waters of the one on a frosty day, or as a solitary specimen 
of the other, in the inmost recesses of an earthen jar. And how 
much more interesting did the spectacle become, when, starting 
into full life and animation, as a simultaneous call for "Pickwick" 
burst from his followers, that illustrious man slowly mounted 
into the Windsor chair, on which he had been previously seated, 
and addressed the club himself had founded. What a study for an 
artist did that exciting scene present I The eloquent Pickwick, with 
one hand gracefully concealed behind his coat tails, and the other waving 
in air to assist his glowing declamation : his elevated position revealing 
those tights and gaiters, which, had they clothed an ordinary man, 
might hav.e passed without observation, but which, when Pickwick 
clothed them — if we may use the expression — inspired involuntary 
awe and respect ; surrounded by the men who had volunteered to share 
the perils of his travels, and who were destined to participate in the 
glories of his discovepies. On his right hand, sat Mr. Tracy Tupman ; 
the too susceptible Tupman, who to the wisdom and experience of 





maturer years superaiUled the enthusiiism and arilour ol a boy, in the 
most interesting and pardonable of human weaknesses — love. Time 
and feeding had expanded that once romantic form ; the black silk waist- 
coat had become more and more developed; inch by inch had the gold 
watch-chain beneath it disappeared from within the range of Tiipman's 
vision ; and gradually had the capacious chin encroached upon the 
borders of the white cravat, but the soul of Tupman had known no change 
—admiration of the fair sex was still its ruling passion. On the left of 
his great leader sat the poetic Snodgrass, and near him again the sport- 
ing Winkle, the former poetically enveloped in a mysterious blue 
cloak with a canine-skin collar, and the latter communicating additional 
lustre to a new green shooting coat, plaid neckerchief, and closely fitted 

Mr. Pickwick's oration upon this occasion, together with the debate 
thereon, is entered on the Transactions of the Club. Both bear a strong 
affinity to the discussions of other celebrated bodies; and, as it is always 
interesting to trace a resemblance between the proceedings of great men, 
we transfer the entry to these pages. 

" Mr. Pickwick observed (says the Secretary) that fame was dear to 
the heart of every man. Poetic fame was dear to the heart of his friend 
Snodgrass, the fame of conquest was equally dear to his friend Tupman ; 
and the desire of earning fame, in the sports of the field, the air, and 
the water, was uppermost in the breast of his friend Winkle. He 
(Mr. Pickwick) would not deny, that he was influenced by human pas- 
sions, and human feelings, (cheers) — possibly by human weaknesses — 
(loud cries of " No") ; but this he would say, that if ever the fire of 
self-importance broke out in his bosom the desire to benefit the 
human race in preference, effectually quenched it. The praise of man- 
kind was his Swing; philanthropy was his insurance office. (Vehement 
cheering.) He had felt some pride — he acknowledged it freely ; aud 
let his enemies make the most of it — he had felt some pride when he 
presented his Tittlebatian Theory to the world ; it might be celebrated 
or it might not. (A cry of " It is," and great cheering.) He would 
take the assertion of that honourable Pickwickian whose voice he had 
lust heard — it was celebrated ; but if the fame of that treatise were to 
extend to the farthest confines of the known world, the pride with which 
he should reflect on the authorship of that production, would be as no- 
thing compared with the pride with which he looked around him, on 
this, the proudest moment of his existence. (Cheers.) He was a 
humble individual. (No, no.) Still he could not but feel that they 
had selected him for a service of great honour, and of some danger. 
Travelling was in a troubled state, and the minds of coachmen were 
unsettled. Let them look abroad, and contemplate the scenes which 
were enacting around them. Stage coaches were upsetting in all direc- 
tions, horses were bolting, boats were overturning, and boilers were 
bursting. (Cheers— a voice " No.") No ! (Cheers.) Let that 
honourable Pickwickian who cried " No " so loudly, come forward and 
deny it, if he could. (Cheers.) Who was it that cried " No?" (En- 
thusiastic cheering.) W^as it some vain and disappointed man — he 
would not «ay haberdasher — (loud cheers) — v/ho, jealous of the praise 

4 I'osTinurous rArrns or 

which had been — perhaj)s undeservedly — bestowed on his (Mr. Pick- 
wick's) researches, and smarting under the censure which had been 
heaped upon his own feeble attempts at rivalry, now took this vile and 
calumnious mode of 

"Mr. Blotton, (of Aldgate,) rose to order. Did the honourable 
Pickwickian allude to him ? (Cries of " Order," " Chair," " Yes,* 
" No," " Go on," '* Leave off," &c.) 

** Mr. Pickwick would not put up to be put down by clamour. He 
had alluded to the honourable gentleman. (Great excitement). 

" Mr. Blotton would only say then, that he repelled the hon. 
gent's false and scurrilous accusation, with profound contempt. (Great 
cheering.) The hon. gent, was a humbug. (Immense confusion, 
and loud cries of " chair " and " order.") 

" Mr. A. Snodgrass rose to order. He threw himself upon the 
chair. (Hear.) He wished to know, whether this disgraceful contest 
between two members of that club, should be allowed to continue. 
(Hear, hear.) 

"The Chairman was quite sure the hon. Pickwickian would with- 
draw the expression he had just made use of. 

" Mr. Blotton, with all possible respect for the chair, was quite 
sure he would not. 

" The Chairman felt it his imperative duty to demand of the 
honourable gentleman, whether he had used the expression which had 
just escaped him, in a common sense. 

" Mr. Blotton had no hesitation in saying, that he had not — he 
had used the word in its Pickwickian sense. (Hear, hear.) He was 
bound to acknowledge, that, personally, he entertained the highest 
regard and esteem for the honourable gentleman ; he had merely 
considered him a humbug in a Pickwickian point of view. (Hear, 

" Mr. Pickwick felt much gratified by the fair, candid, and full 
explanation of his honourable friend. He begged it to be at once 
understood, that his own observations had been merely intended to 
bear a Pickwickian construction. (Cheers.) " 

Here the entry terminates, as we have no doubt the debate did also, 
after arriving at such a highly satisfactory, and intelligible point. 
We have no official statement of the facts, which the reader will find 
recorded in the next chapter, but they have been carefully collated 
from letters and other MS. authorities, so unquestionably genuine, 
as to justify their narration in a connected form 




That punctual servant of all work, the sun, had just risen, and 
begun to strike a light on the morning of the thirteenth of May, one 
thousand eight hundred and twenty-seven, when Mr. 8amuel Pickwick 
burst like another sun from his shimbers ; threw open his chamber 
window, and looked out upon the world beneath. Goswell-street was at 
bis feet, Goswell-street was on his right hand — as far as the eye could 
reach, Goswell-street extended on his left; and the opposite side of 
Goswell-street was over the way. *' Such," thought Mr. Pickwick, " are 
the narrow views of those philosophers who, content with examining 
the things that lie before them, look not to the truths which are hidden 
beyond. As well might I be content to gaze on Goswell-street for ever, 
without one effort to penetrate to the hidden countries which on every 
side surround it." And having given vent to this beautiful reflection, 
Mr. Pickwick proceeded to put himself into his clothes ; and his clothes 
into his'portmanteau. Great men are seldom over scrupulous in the 
arrangement of their attire; the operation of shaving, dressing, and 
coflfee-imbibing was soon performed : and, in another hour, Mr. 
Pickwick, with his portmanteau in his hand, his telescope in his great- 
coat pocket, and his note-book in his waistcoat, ready for the reception of 
any discoveries worthy of being noted down, had arrived at the coach 
stand in Saint Martin's- le-Grand. 

*' Cab ! " said Mr. Pickwick. 

" Here you are. Sir," shouted a strange specimen of the human race, 
in a sackcloth coat, and apron of the same, who with a brass label and 
number round his neck, looked as if he were catalogued in some collec- 
tion of rarities. This was the waterman. " Here you are. Sir. Now, 
then, fust cab ! " And the first cab having been fetched from the 
public house, where he had been smoking his first pipe, Mr. Pickwick 
and his portmanteau were thrown into the vehicle. 

" Golden Cross," said Mr. Pickwick. 

" Only a bob's vortb. Tommy," — cried the driver, sulkily, for the 
information of his friend the waterman, as the cab drove off. 

" How old is that horse, my friend ?" enquired Mr. Pickwick, rubbing 
his nose with the shilling he had reserved for the fare. 

" Forty-two," replied the driver, eyeing him askant. 

" What ! " ejaculated Mr. Pickwick, laying his hand upon his note- 
book. The driver reiterated his former statement. Mr. Pickwick 
looked very hard at the man's face, but his features were immoveable, 
so he noted down the fact forthwith. 

** And how long do you keep him out at a time?" inquired Mr, 
Pickwick, searching for further information. 


" Two or three veeks, " replied the man. 

" Weeks !" said Mr. Pickwick in astonishment — and out came the 
note-book again. 

" He lives at Pentonwil when he's at home," observed the driver, 
coolly, "but we seldom takes him home, on account of his veakness." 

" On account of his weakness ;" reiterated the perplexed Mr. Pick- 

" He always falls down, when he's took out o' the cab," continued the 
driver, " but when he's in it, we bears him up werry tig-ht, and takes 
him in werry short, so as he can't werry well fall down, and we've got a 
pair o' precious large wheels on ; so ven he does move, they run after 
him, and he must go on — he can't help it." 

Mr. Pickwick entered every word of this statement in his note-book, 
with the view of communicating it to the club, as a singular instance of 
the tenacity of life in horses, under trying circumstances. The entry 
was scarcely completed when they reached the Golden Cross. Down 
jumped the driver, and out got Mr. Pickwick. Mr, Tupman, Mr. 
Suodgrass, and Mr. Winkle, who had been anxiously waiting the 
arrival of their illustrious leader, crowded to welcome him. 

" Here 's your fare," said Mr. Pickwick, holding out the shilling to 
the driver. 

What was the learned man's astonishment, when that unaccountable 
person flung the money on the pavement, and requested in figurative 
terms to be allowed the pleasure of fighting him (Mr. Pickwick) for 
the amount I 

" You are mad," said Mr. Snodgrass. 

" Or drunk," said Mr. Winkle. 

" Or both," said Mr. Tupman. 

" Come on," said the cab-driver, sparring away like clock-work. 
" Come on — all four on you." 

" Here's a lark ! " shouted half a dozen hackney coachmen. " Go to 
vork, Sam," — and they crowded with great glee round the party. 

" What's the row, Sam ?" inquired one gentleman in black calico 

" Row ! " replied the cabman, " What did he want my number for? *' 

" I didn't want your number," said the astonished Mr. Pickwick. 

" W^hat did you take it for, then ?" inquired the cabman. 

" I didn't take it," said Mr. Pickwick, indignantly. 

" W^ould any body believe," continued the cab-driver, appealing to 
the crowd, — *' Would any body believe as an informer 'ud go about in a 
man's cab, not only takin' down his number, but ev'ry word he says 
into the bargain, (a light flashed upon Mr. Pickwick — it was the note- 

" Did he though ? " inquired another cabman. 

" Yes, did he," replied the first— "and then arter aggerawatin' me to 
assault him, gets three witnesses here to prove it. But I'll give it him, 
if I've six months for it. Comeon,"and the cabman dashed his hat upon 
the ground, with a reckless disregard of his own private property, and 
knocked Mr. Pickwick's spectacles off, and followed up the attack with 
a blow on Mr. Pic^iwick's nose, and another on Mr. Pickwick's chest, 


paat . /. 


and a third in Mr. Snodgrass's eye, and a fourth, by way of variety, in 
Mr. Tiipman's waistcoat, and then danced into the road, and then back 
again to the pavement, and finally dashed the whole temporary supply 
of breath out of Mr. Winkle's body ; and all in half a dozen seconds. 
" W here's an officer," said Mr. Snodgrass. 
" Put 'em under the pump," suggested a hot-pieman. 
" You shall smart for this," gasped Mr. Pickwick. 
" Informers," shouted the crowd. 

" Come on," cried the cabman, who had been sparring without 
cessation the whole time. 

The mob had hitherto been passive spectators of the scene, but as 
the intelligence of the Pickwickians being informers was spread among 
them, they began to canvass with considerable vivacity the propriety of 
enforcing the heated pastry-vendor's proposition : and there is no saying 
w'hat acts of personal aggression they might ha^e committed, had not 
the affray been unexpectedly terminated by the interposition of a new 

*♦ What 's the fun ?" said a rather tall thin young man, in a green 
coat, emerging suddenly from the coach-yard. 

•' Informers !" shouted the crowd again. 

"We are not," roared Mr. Pickwick, in a tone which, to any dis- 
passionate listener, carried conviction with it. 

" Ain't you, though,— ain't you ? " said the young man, appeal- 
•"?n"u, • ^^^'^^■'^'^'' ^"d making his way through the crowd, by the 
intallible process of elbowing the countenances of its component 
members. '^ 

That learned man in a few hurried words explained the real state of 
the case. 

" Come along, then," said he of the green coat, lugging Mr Pick- 
wick after him by main force, and talking the whole way. " Here 
No 924, take your fare, and take yourself off— respectable gentleman,' 
—know him well— none of your nonsense— this way. Sir— where 's 
your fnends?- all a mistake, I see-never mind— accidents will 
bappen— best regulated families— never say die— down upon your luck 
--pull him up-put that in his pipe— like the flavour— damned 
rascals. And with a lengthened string of similar broken sentences 
delivered with extraordinary volubility, the stranger led the way to the 
travellers waiting room, whither he was closely followed bv Mr 
Pickwick and his disciples. 

" Here, waiter," shouted the stranger, ringing the bell with tre- 
mendous violence, - glasses round,— brandy and water, hot and strong, 
and sweet, and plenty,-eye damaged. Sir? Waiter; raw beef-steak 
lor the gentleman s eye,— nothing like raw beef-steak for a bruise. Sir • 
cold very good, but lamp-post inconvenient— damned odd 
standing m the open street half an hour, with your eye against a lamp- 
post-eh -very good-ha ! ha!" And the stranger, without stopping 
to take breath, swallowed at a draught full half a pint of the reekijil 
brandy and water, and flung himself into a chair with as much ease as 
it nothing uncommon had occurred. 

While his three companions were busily engaged in nroffering their 


thanks to tVieir new acquaintance, Mr. Pickwick had leisure to examine 
his costume and a])i»eanmce. 

He was about the middle height, but the thinness of his body, and 
the length of his legs, gave him the appearance of being much taller. 
The green coat had been a smart dress garment in the days of swallow- 
tails, but had evidently in those times adorned a much shorter man 
than the stranger, for the soiled and faded sleeves scarcely reached to 
his wrists. It was buttoned closely up to his chin, at the imminent 
hazard of splitting the back ; and an old stock, without a vestige of shirt 
collar, ornamented his neck. His scanty black trousers displayed here 
and there those shiny patches which bespeak long service, and were 
strapped very tightly over a pair of patched and mended shoes, as if to 
conceal the dirty white stockings, which were nevertheless distinctly 
visible. His long black hair escaped in negligent waves from beneath 
each side of his old pinched up hat ; and glimpses of his bare wrist 
might be observed, between the tops of his gloves, and the cuffs of his 
coat sleeves. His face was thin and haggard ; but an indescribable air 
of jaunty impudence and perfect self-possession pervaded the whole 

man. , . 

Such was the individual, on whom JMr. Pickwick gazed through his 
spectacles (which he had fortunately recovered), and to whom he pro^ 
ceeded, when his friends had exhausted themselves, to return, in chosen 
terms, his warmest thanks for his recent assistance. 

" Never mind," said the stranger, cutting the address very short, 

it said enough, no more ; smart chap that cabman — handled his fives 

well; but if I'd been your friend in the green jemmy— damn me— 
punch his head,— 'cod I would,— pig's whisper— pieman too,-no 

gammon." - 

This coherent speech was interrupted by the entrance ot the 
Rochester coachman, to announce that " The Commodore" was on the 

point of starting. 

" Commodore 1" said the stranger, starting up, " my coach,— place 
booked,— one outside— leave you to pay for the brandy and water,— 
want change for a five,— bad silver— Brummagem buttons— won't do— 
no go— eh ?" and he shook his head most knowingly. 

Now it so happened that Mr. Pickwick and his three companions had 
resolved to make Rochester their first halting place too; and having 
intimated to their new-found acquaintance that they were journeying to 
the same city, they agreed to occui)y the seat at the back ot the 
coach, where they could all sit together. ,,,,.,., , ,. 

" Up with you," said the stranger, assisting Mr. Pickwick on to the 
roof with so much precipitation, as to impair the gravity of that gen- 
tleman's deportment very materially. 

" Any lut,^gage. Sir?" inquired the coachman. 

" Who— i ? Brown paper parcel here, that's all, other luggage gone by 
,,.attr,-packing-cases, nailed up-big as houses-heavy, heavy, damned 
heavy " replied the stranger, as he torced into his pocket as much as 
he could of the brown paper parcel, which presented mo.t suspicious 
indications of containing one s^iirt and a handkerchief. 

" Heads, heads, take care ^f your heads," cried the loquacious 

^f . 9. 


stranger, as they came out under the low archway, which in those day a 
formed the entrance to the coach-yard. " Terrible place — dangerous 
Mork — other day — five children — mother — taH ladv; eating; sandwiches 
— forgot the arch — crash — knock — children look round — mother's 
head off — sandwich in her hand — no mouth to put it in — head of a 
family off — shocking, shocking. Looking at Whitehall, Sir, — fine 
place — little window — somebody else's head off there, eh. Sir? — he 
did'nt keep a sharp look-out enough either — eh, sir, eh ?" 

" I was ruminating," said Mr. Pickwick, " on the strange mutability 
of human affairs." 

" Ah ! I see — in at the palace door one day, out at the window the 
next. Philosopher, Sir? " 

" An observer of human nature. Sir," said Mr. Pickwick. 

" Ah, so am I. Most people are when they 've little to do and less 
to get. Poet, Sir ?" 

*' My friend Mr. Snodgrass has a strong poetic turn," said Mr. 

" So have I," said the stranger. " Epic poem, — ten thousand lines 
— revolution of July — composed it on the spot — Mars by day, Apollo 
by night, — bang the field-piece, twang the lyre." 

" You were present at that glorious scene. Sir ?" said Mr. Snodgrass. 

*' Present I think I was; fired a musket, — fired with an idea, — 
rushed into wine shop — wrote it down — back again — whiz, bang — 
another idea — wine shop again — pen and ink — back again — cut and 
slash — noble time. Sir. Sportsman, Sir?" abruptly turning to Mr. 

" A little, Sir," replied that gentleman. 

*' Fine pursuit, Sir, — fine pursuit. — Dogs, sir? " 

"Not just now," said Mr. Winkle. 

" Ah ! you should keep dogs — fine animals — sagacious creatures — 
dog of my own once — Pointer — surprising instinct — out shooting one 
day — entering inclosure — whistled — dog stopped — whistled again — 
Ponto — no go : stock still — called him — Ponto, Ponto — wouldn't move 
— dog transfixed — staring at a board — looked up, saw an inscription — 
* Gamekeeper has orders to shoot all dogs found in inclosure' — • 
wouldn't pass it — wonderful dog — valuable dog that — very." 

" Singular circumstance that," said Mr. Pickwick. " Will you allow 
me to make a note of it* ? " 

"Certainly, Sir, certainly — hundred more anecdotes of the same 
animal. — Fine girl. Sir " (to Mr. Tracy Tupman, who had been bestow- 
ing sundry anti-Pickwickian glances on a young lady by the road side). 

" Very I " said Mr. Tupman. 

" English girls not so fine as Spanish — noble creatures — ^jet hair — 
black eyes — lovely forms — sweet creatures — beautiful." 

" You have been in Spain, Sir? " said Mr. Tracy Tupman. 

* Although we find this circumstance recorded as a "singular" one, in Mr. 
Pickwick's note-book, we cannot refrain from humbly expressing our dissent from 
that learned authority. The stranger's anecdote is not one quarter so wonderful 
as some of Mr. Jesse's " Gleanings." Ponto sinks into utter insignificance before 
the dogs whose actions he records. —Ed. 

C • 


" Lived there — ages." 

"Many conquests, Sir? " inquired Mr. Tnpraan. 

"Conquests! Thousands. Don Bola^ro Fizzg^ig- — Grandee — only 
daughter — Donna Christina — splendid creature — loved me to distraction 
— jealous father — high-souled daughter — handsome Englishman - 
Donna Christina in despair — prussic acid — stomach pump in my port- 
manteau — operation performed — old Bolaro in ecstacies — consent to 
our union — join hands and floods of tears — romantic story — very." 

"Is the lady in England now, Sir?" inquired Mr. Tupraan, on 
whom the description of her charms had produced a powerful impression. 

" Dead, Sir — dead," said the stranger, applying to his right eye the 
brief remnant of a very old cambric handkerchief. "Never recovered 
the stomach pump — undermined constitution — fell a victim." 

" And her father ? " inquired the poetic Snodgrass. 

" Remorse and misery," replied the stranger. " Sudden disappear- 
ance — talk of the whole city — search made everywhere — without 
success — pubhc fountain in the great square suddenly ceased playing — 
weeks elapsed — still a stoppage — workmen employed to clean it — water 
drawn off — father-in-law discovered sticking head first in the main pipe, 
with a full confession in his right boot — took him out, and the foun- 
tain played away again, as well as ever." 

" Will you allow me to note that little romance down, Sir ?" said 
Mr. Snodgrass, deeply affected. 

" Certainly, Sir, certainly, — fifty more if you like to hear 'em — 
strange life mine — rather curious history — not extraordinary, but 

In this strain, with an occasional glass of ale, by way of parenthesis, 
when the coach changed horses, did the stranger proceed, until they 
reached Rochester bridge, by which time the note-books, both of Mr. 
Pickwick and Mr. Snodgrass, were completely filled with selections 
from his adventures. 

" Magnificent ruin ! " said Mr. Augustus Snodgrass, with all the 
poetic fervour that distinguished him, when they came in sight of the 
fine old castle. 

" What a study for an antiquarian," were the very words which fell 
from Mr. Pickwick's mouth, as he applied his telescope to his eye. 

" Ah ! fine place," said the stranger, " glorious pile — frowning 
walls — tottering arches — dark nooks — crumbling staircases — Old cathe- 
dral too— earthy smell — pilgrims feet worn away the old steps — little 
Saxon doors — confessionals like money- takers' boxes at theatres — queer 
customers those monks — Popes, and Lord Treasurers, and all sorts of 
old fellows, with great red faces, and broken noses, turning up every day 
— ^buff jerkins too — matchlocks — Sarcophagus — fine place — old legends 
too — strange stories : capital ;" and the stranger continued to solilo- 
quize until they reached the Bull Inn, in the High street, where the 
coach stopped. 

" Do you remain here. Sir ? " inquired Mr. Nathaniel Winkle. 

"Here — not I — but you'd better — good house — nice beds — Wright's 
next house, dear — very dear — half-a-crown in the bill, if you look at 
the waiter — charge you more if you dine at a friend's thstt*^they would 
if you dined in the coffee-room — fellows— very.*' 


Mr. \V inkle turned to iMr. Pickwick, and muramred a low .»or(].s; a 
whisper passed from Mr. Pickwick to Mr. Snodg^rass, from Mr. Snod- 
grass to Mr. Tupman. and nods of assent were exchanged. Mr. Pick- 
wick addressed the stranger. 

" You rendered us a very important service, this morning, Sir," said 
he ; " will you allow us to offer a slight mark of our gratitude by begging 
the favour of your company at dinner ? " 

** Great pleasure — not presume to dictate, but broiled fowl and 
mushrooms — capital thing ! What time ? " 

*' liet me see, replied Mr. Pickwick, referring to his watch, " it is 
now nearly three. Shall we say five ? " 

" Suit me excellently," said the stranger, *' five precisely — till then — 
care of yourselves ;" and lifting the pinched up hat a few inches from 
his head, and carelessly replacing it very much on one side, the stranger, 
with half the brown paper parcel sticking out of his pocket, walked 
briskly up the yard, and turned into tlie high street. 

** Evidently a traveller in many countries, and a close observer ei 
men and things," said Mr, Pickwick. 

" I should like to see his poem," said Mr. Snodgrass. 

" I should like to have seen that dog," said Mr. Winkle. 

Mr. Tupman said nothing ; but he thought of Donna Christina, the 
stomach pump, and the fountain ; and his eyes filled with tears. 

A private sitting-room having been engaged, bed-rooms inspected, 
and dinner ordered, the party walked out to view the city, and adjoining 

We do not find, from a careful perusal of Mr. Pickwick's notes on 
the four towns, Stroud, Rochester, Chatham, and Brompton, that his 
impressions of their appearance differ in any material point, from those 
of other travellers who have gone over the same ground. His general 
description is easily abridged. 

"The principal productions of these towns," says Mr. Pickwick, 
" appear to be soldiers, sailors, Jews, chalk, shrimps, officers, and dock- 
yard men. The commodities chiefly exposed for sale in the public 
streets, are marine stores, hard-bake, apples, flat-fish, and oysters. The 
streets present a lively and animated appearance, occasioned chiefly by 
the conviviality of the military. It is truly delightful to a philanthropic 
mind, to see these gallant men, staggering along under the influence of 
an overflow, both of animal, and ardent spirits ; more especially when 
we remember that the following them about, and jesting with them, 
affords a cheap and innocent amusement for the boy population. Nothing 
(adds Mr. Pickwick) can exceed their good humour. It was but the 
day before my arrival, that one of them had been most grossly insulted 
in the house of a publican. The bar- maid had positively refused to 
draw him any more liquor ; in return for which, he had (merely in 
playfulness) drawn his bayonet, and wounded the girl in the shoulder. 
And yet this fine fellow was the very first to go down to the house 
next morning, and express his readiness to overlook the matter, and 
forget what had occurred ! 

** The consumption of tobacco in these towns (continues Mr. Pick- 
wick) must be very ^reat: and the smell which pervades the streets 




must be exceedingly delicious to those who are extremely fond of 
smoking-. A superficial traveller might object to the dirt which is 
their leading characteristic ; but to those who view it as an indication 
of traffic, and commercial prosperity, it is truly gratifying." 

Punctual to five o'clock, came the stranger, and shortly afterwards 
the dinner. He had divested himself of his brown paper parcel, but 
had made no alteration in his attire ; and was, if possible, more loqua- 
cious than ever. 

" What's that ? " he inquired, as the waiter removed one of the 

" Soles, Sir/' 

" Soles — ah ! — capital fish — all come from London — stage-coach 
proprietors get up political dinners — carriage of soles — dozens of baskets 
— cunning fellows. Glass of w^ne, Sir ? " 

" With pleasure," said Mr. Pickwick — and the stranger took wine ; 
first with him, and then with Mr. Snodgrass, and then with Mr. 
Tupman, and then with Mr. Winkle, and then with the whole party 
together, almost as rapidly as he talked. 

" Devil of a mess on the staircase, waiter," said the stranger, " Forms 
going up — carpenters coming down — lamps, glasses, harps. What's 
going forward." 

" Ball, Sir," said the waiter. 

" Assembly— eh?" 

" No, Sir, not Assembly, Sir. Ball for the benefit of a charity, Sir." 

" Many fine women in this town, do you know, Sir ?" inquired Mr. 
Tupman, with great interest. 

" Splendid — capital. Kent, Sir — Every body knows Kent — apples, 
cherries, hops, and women. Glass of wine, Sir?" 

" With great pleasure," replied Mr. Tupman. The stranger filled, 
and emptied. 

" I should very much like to go," said Mr. Tupman, resuming the 
subject of the ball, " very much." 

*' Tickets at the bar, Sir," interposed the waiter, "half-a-guinea 
each. Sir." 

Mr. Tupman again expressed an earnest wish to be present at the 
festivity ; but meeting with no response in the darkened eye of Mr. 
Snodgrass, or the abstracted gaze of Mr. Pickwick, he applied himself 
with great interest to the port wine and dessert which had just been 
placed on the table. The waiter withdrew, and the party were left to 
enjoy the cosy «ouple of hours succeeding dinner. 

" Beg your pardon. Sir," said the stranger, " Bottle stands — pass it 
round — way of the sun — through the button hole— no heeltaps," and 
he emptied his glass, which he had filled about two minutes before ; and 
poured out another, with the air of a man who was used to it. 

The wine was passed, and a fresh supply ordered. The visitor 
talked, the Pickwickians listened. Mr. Tupman felt every moment 
more disposed for the ball. Mr. Pickwick's countenance glowed with 
an expression of universal philanthropy ; and Mr. Winkle, and Mr. 
Snodgrass, fell fast asleep. 

" Thoy're beginning up stairs," said the stranger — " hear the com 


paiiy — fiddles tuning — now the harp — there they go." The various 
sounds which found their way down stairs, announced the commence- 
ment of the first quadrille. 

" How I should like to go," said Mr. Tupman, again. 

" So should I," said the stranger, — " confounded luggage — heavy 
smacks — nothini;- to go in — odd, an't it ? " 

Now general benevolence was one of the leading features of the 
Pickwickian theory, and no one was more remarkable for the zealous 
manner in which he observed so noble a principle, than Mr. Tracy 
Tupman. The number of instances, recorded on the transactions of 
the Society, in which that excellent man referred objects of charity to 
the houses of other members for left-off garments, or pecuniary relief, 
is almost incredible. 

" I should be very happy to lend you a change of apparel for the pur- 
pose," said Mr. Tracy Tupman, " but you are rather slim, and I am — " 

" Rather fat — grown up Bacchus — cut the leaves — dismounted from 
the tub, and adopted kersey, eh ? — not double distilled, but double 
milled — ha ! ha I — pass the wine." 

Whether Mr. Tupman was somewhat indignant at the peremptory 
tone in which he was desired to pass the wine which the stranger passed 
so quickly away ; or whether he felt very properly scandalized, at an 
influential member of the Pickwick club being ignominously compared 
to a dismounted Bacchus, is a fact not yet completely ascertained. He 
passed the wine, coughed twice, and looked at the stranger for several 
seconds with a stern intensity ; as that individual, however, appeared 
perfectly collected, and quite calm under his searching glance, he gra- 
dually relaxed, and reverted to the subject of the ball. 

" I was about to observe, Sir," he said, " that though my apparel 
would be too large, a suit of my friend Mr. Winkle's would, perhaps, fit 
vou better." 

The stranger took Mr. Winkle's measure with his eye ; and that 
feature glistened with satisfaction as he said — •' Just the thing ! " 

Mr. Tupman looked roun.l him. The wine which had exerted its 
somniferous influence over Mr. Snodgrass, and Mr. Winkle, had stolen 
upon the senses of Mr. Pickwick. That gentleman had gradually 
passed through the various stages which precede the lethargy pro- 
duced by dinner, and its consequences. He had undergone the ordi- 
nary transitions from the height of conviviality, to the depth of misery, 
and from the depth of misery, to the height of conviviality. Like a 
gas lamp in the street, with the wind in the pipe, he had exhibited for 
a moment an unnatural brilliancy : then sunk so low as to be scarcely 
discernible : after a short interval, he had burst out again, to enlighten 
for a moment, then flickered with an uncertain, staggering sort of 
light, and then gone out altogether. His head was sunk upon his bosom ; 
and perpetual snoring, with a partial choke, occasionally, were the only 
audible indications of the great man's presence. 

The temptation to be present at the ball, and to form his first impres- 
sions of the beauty of the Kentish ladies, was strong upon Mr. Tup- 
man. The temptation to take the stranger with him, was equally great. 
Hfj was wholly unacquainted with the place, and its inhabitants ; and 


the stranger seemed to possess as great a knowledge of both, as if ha 
had lived there from his infancy. Mr. Winkle was asleep, and Mr 
Tupman had had sufficient experience in such matters to know, that 
the moment he awoke, he would, in the ordinary course of nature, roll 
neavily to bed. He was undecided. " Fill your glass, and pass the 
wine," said the indefatigable visitor. 

Mr. Tupman did as he was requested ; and the additional stimulus of 
the last glass settled his determination." 

" Winkle's bed-room is inside mine," said Mr. Tupman ; " I couldn't 
make him understand what I wanted, if I woke him now, but I know 
he has a dress suit, in a carpet bag ; and supposing you wore it to the 
ball, and took it off when we returned, I could replace it without 
troubling- him at all about the matter." 

" Capital," said the stranger, "famous plan — damned odd situation — 
fourteen coats in the packing cases, and obliged to wear another man's — 
very good notion, that — very." 

" We must purchase our tickets," said Mr. Tupman. 

'* Not worth while splitting a guinea," said the stranger, " toss who 
shall pay for both — I call ; you spin — first time — woman — woman — 
bewitching woman," and down came the sovereign, with the Dragon 
(called by courtesy a woman) uppermost. 

Mr. Tupman rang the bell, purchased the tickets, and ordered cham^ 
ber-candlesticks. In another quarter of an hour, the stranger was com- 
pletely arrayed in a full suit of Mr. Nathaniel Winkle's. 

" It's a new coat," said Mr. Tupman, as the stranger surveyed him- 
self with great complacency in a cheval glass. " The first that's been 
made with our club button," — and he called his companion's attention 
to the large gilt button which displayed a bust of Mr. Pickwick in the 
centre, and the letters " P. C." on either side. 

" P. C." said the stranger, — " Queer set out — old fellow's likeness, 
and ' P. C— What does P. C. stand for— Peculiar Coat, eh?" Mr. 
Tupman, with rising indignation, and great importance, explained the 
mystic device. 

" Rather short in the waist, a'nt it ?" said the stranger, screwing 
himself round, to catch a glimpse in the glass of the waist buttons which 
were halfway up his back. '' Like a general postman's coat — queer couts 
those — made by contract — no measuring — mysterious dispensations 
of Providence — all the short men get long coats — all the long men 
short ones." Running on in this way, Mr. Tupman's new companion 
adjusted his dress, or rather the dress of Mr. Winkle ; and, accompanied 
by Mr. Tupman, ascended the staircase leading to the ball room. 

"W'hat names. Sir? " said the man at the door. Mr. Tracy Tup- 
man was stepping forward to announce his own titles, when the stranger 
prevented him. 

" No names at all," — and then he whispered Mr. Tupman, " Names 
wo'nt do — not known — very good names in their way, but not great 
ones — capital names far a small party, but won't make an impression in 
public assemblies — incog-, the thing — Gentlemen from London — dis- 
tinguished foreigners — anything." The door was thrown open ; and 
Mr. Tracy Tupman, and the stranger, entered the ball room. 


It w&H a long- room, with crimson-covered benches, and wax candles 
in glass chandeliers. The musicians were securely confined in an 
elevated den, and quadrilles were being systematically got through by 
two or three sets of dancers. Two card-tables were made up in the 
adjoining card-room, and two pair of old ladies, and a corresponding 
number of stout gentlemen, were executing whist therein. 

The finale concluded, the dancers promenaded the room, and Mr. 
Tupman and his companion stationed themselves in a corner, to observe 
the company. 

*' Charming women," said Mr. Tupman. 

" Wait a minute," said the stranger, " fun presently — nobs not come 
yet — queer place — Dock-yard people of upper rank don't know Dock- 
yard people of lower rank — Dock-yard people of lower rank don't know 
small gentry — small gentry don't kjiow tradespeople — Commissioner 
don't know anybody." 

" Who's that little boy with the light hair and pink eyes, in a fancy 
dress ? " inquired Mr. Tupman. 

"Hush, pray — pink eyes — fancy dress — little boy — nonsense — Ensign 
97th. — Honourable Wilmot Snipe — great family — Snipes — very." 

" Sir Thomas Clubber, Lady Clubber, and the Miss Clubbers ! ' 
shouted the man at the door in a stentorian voice. A great sensation 
was created throughout the room, by the entrance of a tall gentleman 
in a blue coat and bright buttons, a large lady in blue satin, and two 
young ladies on a similar scale, in fashionably-made dresses of the 
same hue. 

** Commissioner — head of the yard — great man — remarkably great 
man," whispered the stranger in Mr. Tupman's ear, as the charitable 
committee ushered Sir Thomas Clubber and family to the top of fhe 
room. The Honourable Wilmot Snipe, and other distinguished gen- 
tlemen crowded to render homage to the Miss Clubbers; and Sir 
Thomas Clubber stood bolt upright, and looked majestically over his 
black neckerchief at the assembled company. 

" Mr. Smithie, Mrs. Smithie, and the Misses Smithie," was the next 

♦* What's Mr. Smithie," inquired Mr. Tracy Tupman. 

** Something in the yard," replied the stranger. Mr. Smithie bowed 
deferentially to Sir Thomas Clubber ; and Sir Thomas Clubber acknow- 
ledged the salute with conscious condescension. Lady Clubber took a 
telescope view of Mrs. Smithie and family, through her eye-glass, and 
Mrs. Smithie, stared inherturn, at Mrs. Somebody else, whose husband 
was not in the dock-yard at all. 

" Colonel Bulder, Mrs. Colonel Bulder, and Miss Bulder," were the 
next -arrivals. 

" Head of the garrison," said the stranger, in reply to Mr. Tup- 
man's inquiring look. 

Miss Balder was warmly welcomed by the Miss Clubbers ; the greet- 
ing between Mrs. Colonel Bulder, and Lady Clubber, was of the most 
affectionate description ; Colonel Bulder and Sir Thomas Clubber ex- 
changed snuff-boxes, and looked very much like a pair of Alexander 
Selkirks ; — " Monarchs of all they surveyed." 


While the aristocracy of the place — the Bulders, and Clubbers, and 
Snipes — were thus preserving- their dignity at the upper end of the 
room, the other classes of society were imitating- their example in other 
parts of it. The less aristocratic officers of the 97th devoted them- 
selves to the families of the less important functionaries from the dock- 
yard. The solicitors' wives, and the wine merchant's wife, headed another 
grade, (the brewer's wife visited the Bulders;) and Mrs. Tomlinson, the 
post-office keeper, seemed by mutual consent to have been chosen the 
leader of the trade party. 

One of the most popular personages, in his own circle, present, was a 
little fat man, with a ring of upright black hair round his head, and an 
extensive bald plain on the top of it — Doctor Slammer, surg-eon to the 
97th. The Doctor took snuff with every body, chatted with every 
body, laughed, danced, made jokes, played whist, did everything-, and 
was everywhere. To these pursuits, multifarious as they were, the 
little Doctor added a more important one than any — he was indefatiga- 
ble in paying the most unremitting and devoted attention to a little old 
widow, whose rich dress and profusion of ornament bespoke her a most 
desirable addition to a limited income. 

Upon the doctor, and the widow, the eyes both of Mr. Tupman and 
his companion had been fixed for some time, when the stranger broke 

" Lots of money— old girl' — pompous doctor — not a bad idea — 
good fun," were the intelligible sentences which issued from his lips. 
Mr. Tupman looked inquisitively in his face. 

" rU dance with the v»'idow," said the stranger. 

" Who is she? " inquired Mr. Tupman. 

*' Don't know — never saw her in all my life — cut out the doctor — 
here goes." And the stranger forthwith crossed the room ; and, leaning 
against a mantel-piece, commenced gazing with an air of respectful and 
melancholy admiration on the fat countenance of the little old lady. 
Mr. Tupman looked on, in mute astonishment. The stranger pro- 
gressed rapidly ; the little doctor danced with another lady— the widow 
dropped her fan ; the stranger picked it up, and presented it, — a smile — 
a bow — a curtsey — a fev/ words of conversation. The stranger walked 
boldly up to, and returned with, the master of the ceremonies ; a little 
introductory pantomime ; and the stranger and Mrs. Budger took their 
places in a quadrille. 

The surprise of Mr. Tupman at this summary proceeding, great as 
it was, was immeasurably exceeded by the astonishment of the doctor. 
The stranger was young, and the widow was flattered. The doctor's 
attentions were unheeded' by the widow ; and the doctor's indignation 
was wholly lost on his imperturbable rival. Doctor Slammer was 
paralyzed. He, Doctor Slammer of the 97th, to be extinguished in a 
moment, by a man whom nobody had ever seen before, and whom no- 
body knew even now ! Doctor Slammer — Doctor Slammer of the 97th 
rejected ! Impossible ! It could not be ! Yes, it was ; there they 
were. What! introducing his friend! Could he believe his eyes! 
He looked again, and was under the painful necessity of admitting the 
veracity of his optics ; Mrs. Budger was dancing with Mr, Tracy 




I A 

... f^ 



riipman ; there was no mistaking: tlie fact. There was the widow 
before him, bouncing: l)0(lily, here and thore, with unwonted vigour; 
and Mr. Tracy Tupman hopping abont, with a face expressive of the 
most intense soh'mnity, dancing (as a good many jieople do) as if a 
quadrille were not a thing to be laughed at, but a severe trial to the 
feelings, which it requires inflexible resolution to encounter. 

Silently and patiently did the doctor bear all this, and all the handings 
of negus, and watching for glasses, and darting for biscuits, and 
coquetting, that ensued ; but, a few seconds after the stranger had 
disappeared to lead Mrs. Budger to her carriage, he darted swiftly from 
the room with every particle of his hitherto-bottled-up indignation 
effervescing, from all parts of his countenance, in a perspiration of 

The stranger was returning, and Mr. Tupman was beside him. He 
spoke in a low tone, and laughed. The little doctor thirsted for his 
life. He was exulting. He had triumphed. 

" Sir !" said the doctor, in an awful voice, producing a card, and 
retiring into an angle of the passage " my name is Slammer, Doctor 
Slammer, Sir — 97th regiment — Chatham Barracks— my card, Sir, my 
card." He would have added more, but his indignation choaked him. 

" Ah ! " replied the stranger, coolly, " Slammer — much obliged — ' 
polite attention — not ill now, Slammer — but when I am-^knock you 


" Yon — you're a shuffler. Sir," gasped the furious doctor, "a poltroon 
— a coward — a liar — a — a — will nothing induce you to give me your 
card, Sir.' 

" Oh ! I see," said the stranger, half aside, " negus too strong here — 
liberal landlord — very foolish — very — lemonade much better — hot 
rooms — elderly gentlemen — suffer for it in the morning — cruel— - 
cruel ; " and he moved on a step or two. 

" You are stopping in this house. Sir," said the indignant little man ; 
*'you are intoxicated now, Sir ; you shall hear from me in the morn- 
ing, Sir. I shall find you out. Sir; I shall find you out." 

" Rather you found me out, than found me at home," replied the 
unmoved stranger. 

Doctor Slammer looked unutterable ferocity, as he fixed his hat on 
his head with an indignant knock : and the stranger and Mr. Tupman 
ascended to the bed-room of the latter to restore the borrowed plumage 
to the unconscious Winkle. 

That gentleman was fast asleep ; the restoration was soon made 
The stranger was extremely jocose; and Mr. Tracy Tupman, being 
quite bewildered with wine, negus, lights, and ladies, thought the whole, 
affair an exquisite joke. His new friend departed ; and, after expe- 
riencing some slight difficulty in finding the orifice in his night-cap, 
originally intended for the reception of his head, and finally overturning 
his candlestick in his struggles to put it on, Mr. Tracy Tupman managed 
to get into bed, by a series of complicated evolutions, and shortly 
afterwards sank into repose. 

Seven o'clock had hardly ceased striking on the following morning., 
when Mr, Pickwick's comprehensive mind was aroused from the 8tat<i 



of unconsciousness, in which slumber had plunged it, by a ouu knocking 
at his chamber door. 

" Who's there?" said Mr. Pickwick, starting up in bed. 

" Boots, sir." 

*' What do you want ?" 

" Please sir., can you tell me, which gentleman of your party wears a 
bright blue dress coat, with a gilt button with p. c. on it ?" 

" It's been given out to brush," thought Mr. Pickwick; and the 
man has forgotten whom it belongs to — " Mr. Winkle," he called out, 
" next room but two, on the rjght hand." 

" Thank'ee, sir," said the Boots, and away he went. 

" What's the matter?" cried Mr. Tupman, as a loud knocking at 
his door roused him from his oblivious repose. 

"Can I speak to Mr. Winkle, sir?" replied the Boots, from the 

" Winkle — Winkle," shouted D^r. Tupman, calling into the inner 

" Hallo I" replied a faint voice from within the bed-clothes. 

" You're wanted — some one at the door — " and having exerted 
himself to articulate thus much, Mr. Tracy Tupman turned round 
and fell fast asleep again. 

" Wanted I " said Mr. Wrinkle, hastily jumping out of bed, and putting 
on a few articles of clothing : " wanted ! at this distance from town — 
who on earth can want me !" 

" Gentleman in the coffee room, sir,'* replied the Boots, as Mr. 
Winkle opened the door, and confronted him ; " gentleman says he'll 
not detain you a moment, sir, but he can take no denial." 

" Very odd !" said Mr. Winkle ; " I'll be down directly." 

He hurriedly wrapped himself in a travelling-shawl, and dressing- 
gown, and proceeded down stairs. An old woman and a couple of 
waiters were cleaning the coffee room, and an officer in undress 
uniform was looking out of the window. He turned round as Mr. 
Winkle entered, and made a stiff inclination of the head. Having 
ordered the attendants to retire, and closed the door very carefully, he 
said, " Mr. Winkle, I presume?" 

" My name is Winkle, sir." 

" You will not be surprised, sir, when I inform yon, that I have called 
here thij- morning on behalf of my friend. Dr. Slammer, of the Ninety- 

" Doctor Slammer !" said Mr. Winkle. 

" Doctor Slammer. He begged me to express his opinion that your 
conduct of last evening was of a description which no gentleman could 
endure : and (he added) which no one gentleman would pursue towards 

Mr. Winkle's astonishment was too real, and too evident, to escape 
the observation of Doctor Slammer's friend ; he therefore proceeded. — 
" My friend. Doctor Slammer, requested me to add, that he is firmly 
persuaded you were intoxicated during a portion of the evening, and 
possibly unconscious of the extent of the insult you were guilty of. 
He commissioned me to sav, that should this be pleaded as an excuse 


for your bthavionr, he will consent to accept a written apology, to be 
penned by you, from my dictation." 

" A written apology I" repeated Mr. Winkle, in the most emphatic 
tone of amazement possible. 

" Of course you know the alternative," replied the visiter, coolly. 

" Were you entrusted with this message to me, by name?" inquired 
Mr. Wrinkle, whose intellects were hopelessly confused by this extra- 
ordinary conversation. 

*• I was not present myself," replied the visiter, " and in consequence 
of your firm refusal to give your card to Doctor Slammer, I was desired 
by that gentleman to identify the wearer of a very uncommon coat — a 
bright blue dress coat, with a gilt button, displaying a bust, and the 
letters ' p. c' " 

Mr. Winkle actually staggered with astonishment, as he heard his 
own costume thus minutely described. Doctor Slammer's friend 
proceeded : — 

" From the inquiries I made at the bar, just now, I was convinced 
that the owner of the coat in question arrived here, with three gentle- 
men, yesterday afternoon. I immediately sent up to the gentleman 
who was described as appearing the head of the party ; and he, at once, 
referred me to you." 

If the princij)al tower of Rochester Castle had suddenly walked from 
its foundation, and stationed itself oj)posite the coffee-room window, 
Mr. Winkle's surprise would have been as nothing, compared with the 
profound astonishment with which he had heard this address. His 
first impression was, that his coat had been stolen. " W^ill you allow 
me to detain you one moment ?" said he. 

" Certainly," replied the unwelcome visiter. 

Mr. Winkle ran hastily up-stairs, and with a trembling hand opened 
the bag. There was the coat in its usual place, but exhibiting, on a 
close inspection, evident tokens of having been worn on the preceding 

" It must be so," said Mr. Winkle, letting the coat fall from his hands. 
** I took too much wine after dinner, and have a very vague recollection 
of walking about the streets, and smoking a cigar, afterwards. The 
fact is, I was very drunk ; — I must have changed my coat — gone some- 
where — and insulted somebody — I have no doubt of it ; and this mes- 
sage is the terrible consequence." Saying which, Mr. Winkle retraced 
his steps in the direction of the coffee-room, with the gloomy and 
dreadful resolve of accepting the challenge of the warlike Doctor 
Slammer, and abiding by the worst consequences that might ensue. 

To tliis determination Mr. Winkle was urged by a variety of consi- 
derations ; the tirst of which was, his reputation with the club. He had 
always been looked up to as a high authority on all matters of amuse- 
ment and dexterity, whether offensive, defensive, or inoffensive ; and if, 
on this very first occasion of being put to the test, he shrunk back from 
the trial, beneath his leader's eye, his name and standing were lost for 
ever. Besides, he remembered to have heard it frequently surmised by 
the uninitiated in such matters, that by an understood arrangement 
oetween the seconds, the pistols were seldom loaded with ball ; and, 



furthermore, he reflected that if he applied to Mr. Snodgrass to act as 
his second, and depicted the danger in glowing terms, that gentleman 
might possibly communicate the intelligence to Mr. Pickwick, who 
would certainly lose no time in transmitting it to the local authorities, 
and thus prevent the killing or maiming of his follower. 

Such were his thoughts when he returned to the coffee-room, and 
intimated his intention of accepting the Doctor's challenge. 

" Will you refer me to a fi-iend, to arrange the time and place of 
meeting ? " said the officer. 

<* Quite unnecessary," replied Mr. Winkle ; " name them to me, and 
I can procure the attendance of a friend, afterwards." 

"Shall we say — sunset this evening?" inquired the officer, in a 
careless tone. 

" Very good," replied Mr. Winkle ; thinking in his heart it was very 

*• You know Fort Pitt?" 

" Yes ; I saw it yesterday." 

*' If you will take the trouble to turn into the field which borders the 
trench, take the foot-path to the left, when you arrive at an angle of 
the fortification; and keep straight on 'till you see me ; I will precede 
you to a secluded place, where the affair can be conducted without fear 
of interruption." 

" Fear of interruption I" thought Mr. Winkle. 

" Nothing more to arrange, I think," said the officer. 

" I am not aware of anything more," replied Mr. W'inkle. 

" Good morning." 

" Good morning :" and the officer whistled a lively air, as he strode 

That morning's breakfast passed heavily off. Mr. Tupman was not 
in a condition to rise, after the unwonted dissipation of the previous 
night ; Mr. Snodgrass appeared to labour under a poetical depression of 
spirits; and even Mr. Pickwick evinced an unusual attachment to 
silence and soda water. Mr. Winkle eagerly watched his opportunity. 
It was not long wanting. Mr. Snodgrass proposed a visit to the castle, 
and as Mr. Winkle was the only other member of the party disposed to 
walk, they went out together. 

" Snodgrass," said Mr. Winkle, when they had turned out of the 
public street ; " Snodgrass, my dear fellow, can I rely upon your 
secresy ? " As he said this, he most devoutly and earnestly hoped he 
could not. 

" You can," replied Mr. Snodgrass. *' Hear me swear — " 

" No, no ;" interrupted Winkle, terrified at the idea of his compa- 
nion's unconsciously pledging himself not to give information ; " don't 
swear, don't swear ; it 's quite unnecessary." 

Mr. Snodgrass dropped the hand which he had, in the spirit of poesy, 
raised towards the clouds, as he made the above appeal, and assumed 
an attitude of attention. 

*' I want your assistance, my dear fellow, in an affair of honour," said 
Mr. Winkle. 

*' You shall have it," replied Mr. Snodgrass, clasping his friend'? 


"With a Doctor — Doctor Slammer, of the Ninety-snventh," said 
Mr. Winkle, wishing- to make the matter appear as solemn as pos- 
sible ; "an affair with an officer, seconded by another officer, .at 
sunset this evening-, in a lonely field lipyond Fort Pitt." 

" 1 will attend you," said Mr. Snodgrass. 

He was astonished, but i»y no means dismaye<l. It is extraor- 
dinary how cool any party but the principal can be in such cases. 
Mr. Winkle had forgotten this. lie had judged of his friend's feelings 
by his own. 

" The consequences may be dreadful," said Mr. Winkle. 

" I hope not," said Mr. Snodgrass. 

" The Doctor, 1 believe, is a very good shot," said Mr. Winkle. 

" Most of these military men are," observed Mr. Snodgrass, calmly ; 
*'bnt so are you, a'n't you ?" 

Mr. Winkle replied in the affirmative; and perceiving that he had 
not alarmed his companion sufficiently, changed his ground. 

" Snodgrass," he said, in a voice tremulous with emotion, " if I fall, 
you will find in a packet which 1 shall place in your hands a note for 
my — for my father." 

This attack was a failure also. Mr. Snodi^rass was affected, but he 
undertook the delivery of the note, as readily as if he had been a 
Twopenny Postman. 

" If I fall," said Mr. Winkle, "or if the Doctor falls, you, my dear 
friend, will be tried as an accessory before the fact. Shall I involve my 
friend in transportation — possibly for life!" 

Mr. Snodgrass winced a little at this, ])ut his heroism was invincible. 
" In the cause of friendship," he fervently exclaimed, "I would brave 
all dangers." 

How Mr. Winkle cursed his companion's devoted friendship inter- 
nally, as they walked silently along, side by side, for some minutes, 
each immersed in his awn meditations I The morning- was wearing- 
away ; he grew desperate 

" Snodgrass," he said, stopping suddenly, " do not let me be baulked 
in this matter — do not give information to the local authorities — do not 
obtain the assistance of several peace officers, to take either me or Doctor 
Slammer, of the Ninety-seventh Regiment, at present quartered in 
Chatham Barracks, into custody, and thus prevent this duel ; — I say, 
do noty 

Mr. Snodgrass seized his friend's hand warmly, as he enthusiastically 
replied, " Not for worlds I" 

A thrill passed over Mr. Winkle's frame, as the conviction, that he 
had nothing to hope from his friend's fears, and that he was destined to 
become an animated target, rushed forcibly upon him. 

The state of the case having been formally explained to Mr. Snod- 
grass, and a case of satisfaction pistols, with the satisfactory accom- 
paniments of powder, ball, and caps, having been hired from a 
manufacturer in Rochester, the two friends returned to their inn : Mr. 
Winkle, to ruminate on the aj)pr()aching struggle ; and Mr. Snodgrass, 
to arrange the weapons of war, and put them into proper order for 
immediate uwe 


It was a dull and heavy evening-, when they again sallieil forth on 
their awkward errand. Mr. Winkle was muffled up in a huge cloak to 
escape observation; and Mr. Snodgrass bore under his the instruments 
of destruction. 

" Have you got ev'rything?" said Mr. Winkle, in an agitated tone 

" Ev'ry thing," replied Mr. Snodgrass ; " plenty of ammunition, in 
case the shots don't take effect. There's a quarter of a pound ot 
powder in the case, and I have g-ot two newspapers in my pocket, for 
the loadings." 

These were instances of friendship, for which any man might reason- 
ably feel most g-rateful. The presumption is, that the gratitude of 
Mr. Winkle was too powerful for utterance, as he said nothing, but 
continued to walk on — rather slowly. 

" We are in excellent time," said Mr. Snodgrass, as they climbed the 
fence of the first field ; " the sun is just going down." Mr. Winkle 
looked up at the declining orb, and painfully thought of the proba- 
bility of his " going down" himself, before long. 

" There's the officer," exclaimed Mr. Winkle, after a few minutes' 

" Where?" said Mr. Snodgrass. 

" There ; — the gentleman in the blue cloak." Mr. Snodgrass looked 
in the direction indicated by the forefinger of his friend, and observed a 
figure, muffled up, as he had described. The officer evinced his con- 
sciousness of their presence by slightly beckoning with his hand ; and 
the two friends followed him, at a little distance, as he walked avvay. 

The evening grew more dull every moment, and a melancholy wind 
sounded through the deserted fields, like a distant giant^ whistling for 
his house-dog. The sadness of the scene imparted a sombre tinge to 
the feelings of Mr. Winkle. He started as they passed the angle of the 
trench — it looked like a colossal grave. 

The officer turned suddenly from the path ; and after climbing a 
paling, and scaling a hedge, entered a secluded field. Two gentlemen 
were waiting in it ; one was a little fat man, with black hair; and the 
other — a portly personage in a braided surtout — was sitting with perfect 
equanimity on a camp-stool. 

" The other party, and a surgeon, I suppose," said Mr. Snodgrass ; 
" take a drop of brandy." Mr. Winkle seized the wicker bottle, which 
his friend proffered, and took a lengthened pull at the exhilarating 

" My friend, sir, Mr. Snodgrass," said Mr. Wrinkle, as the officer 
approached. Doctor Slammer's friend bowed, and produced a case 
similar to that which Mr. Snodgrass carried. 

" We have nothing further to say, sir, I think," he coldly remarked, 
as he opened the case; " an apology has been resolutely declined." 

" Nothing, sir," said Mr. Snodgrass, who began to feel rather 
uncomfortable himself. 

" Will you step forward?" said the officer. 

" Certainly," replied Mr. Snodgrass. The ground was measured, 
and preliminaries arranged. 

'< You will find these better than your own," said the opposite 


second, producing his pistols. " You saw me load them. Do you 
object to use them ?" 

" Certainly not," replied Mr. Snoderass. The offer relieved hinr 
from considerable embarrassment ; for his previous notions of loadini;- a 
pistol were rather vag^ue and undefined. 

" We may place our men, then, I think," observed the officer, with 
as much indiflFerence as if the prirsipals were chess-men, and the 
seconds players. 

♦* I think we may," replied INIr. Snodgrass ; who would have assented 
to any proposition, because he knew nothing about the matter. The 
officer crossed to Doctor Slammer, and Mr. Snodgrass went up to Mr. 

" It 's all ready," he said, offering the pistol, " Give me your cloak." 

'♦ You have got the packet, my dear fellow," said poor Winkle. 

*• All right," said Mr. Snodgrass. " Be steady, and wing him." 

It occurred to Mr. Wrinkle that this advice was very like that which 
by-standers invariably give to the smallest boy in a street fight ; namely, 
*' Go in, and win:" — an admirable thing to recommend, if you only 
know how to do it. He took off his cloak, however, in silence — it 
always took a long time to undo that cloak — and accepted the pistol. 
The seconds retired, the gentleman on the camp-stool did the same, 
and the belligerents approached each other. 

Mr. W'inkle was always remarkable for extreme humanity. It is 
conjectured that his unwillingness to hurt a fellow-creature inten- 
tionally, was the cause of his shutting his eyes when he arrived at the 
fatal spot ; and that the circumstance of his eyes being closed*, prevented 
his observing the very extraordinary and unaccountable demeanour of 
Doctor Slammer. That gentleman started, stared, retreated, rubbed his 
eye^ stared again ; and, finally, shouted " Stop, stop!" 

" What's all this?" said Doctor Slammer, as his friend and Mr. 
Snodgrass came running up — " That's not the man." 

" Not the man !" said Doctor Slammer's second. 

" Not the man I" said Mr. Snodgrass. 

'* Not the man !"' said the gentleman with the camp-stool in his hand. 

** Certainly not," replied the little doctor. "That's not the person 
who insulted me last niffht." 

"Very extraordinary I" exclaimed the officer. 

** Very," said the gentleman with the camp-stool. " The only question 
is, whether the gentleman, being on the ground, must not be considered, 
as a matter of form, to be the individual who insulted our friend, Doctor 
Slammer, yesterday evening, whether he is really that individual or not:' 
and having delivered this suggestion, with a very sage and mysterious 
air, the man with the camp-stool took a large pinch of snuif, and looked 
profoundly round, with the air of an authority in such matters. 

Now Mr. Winkle had opened his eyes, and his ears too, when he 
heard his adversary call out for a cessation of hostilities ; and perceiv- 
ing by what he had afterwards said, that there was, beyond all qiieslion, 
some mistake in the matter, he at once foresaw (he increase of reputa- 
tion he should inevitably acquire, by concealing the real motive of his 
coming out: he therefore stepped boldly forward, and said — 

24 rosTFiUMOUs papers of 

*' I am n >t the person. I know it/' 

" Then, that," said the man with the camp-stool, "is an affront to 
Doctor Slammer, and a sufficient reason for proceeding" immediately." 

" Pray be quiet, Payne," said the Doctor's second. <' Why did you 
not communicate this fact to me, this morning, sir?" 

" To be sure — to be sure," said the man with the camp-stool, indig- 

" 1 entreat you to be quiet, Payne," said the other. " May I repeat 
my question, sir?" 

" Because, sir," replied Mr. Winkle, who had had time to deliberate 
upon his answer — '' because, sir, you described an intoxicated and 
ungentlemanly person as wearing a coat, which I have the honour, not 
only to wear, but to have invented — the proposed uniform, sir, of the 
Pickwick Club in London. The honour of that uniform I feel bound 
to maintain, and I therefore, without inquiry, accepted the challenge 
which you offered me." 

" My dear sir/' said the good-humoured little doctor, advancing with 
extended hand, " I honour your gallantry. Permit me to say, sir, that 
I highly admire your conduct, and extremely regret having caused you 
the inconvenience of this meeting, to no purpose." 

" I beg you won't mention it, sir," said Mr. Winkle. 

" I shall feel proud of your acquaintance, sir," said the little doctor. 

*' It will aiford me the greatest pleasure to know you, sir," replied 
Mr. Winkle. Thereupon the Doctor and Mr. Winkle shook hands, 
and then Mr. Winkle and Lieutenant Tappleton (the doctor's second), 
and then Mr. Winkle and the man with the camp-stool, and, finally, Mr. 
Winkle and Mr. Snodgrass : the last named gentleman in an excess of 
admiration at the noble conduct of his heroic friend." 

" I think we may adjourn," said Lieutenant Tappleton. 

" Certainly," added the Doctor. 

" Unless," interposed the man with the camp-stool, " unless Mr. 
Wrinkle feels himself aggrieved by the challenge; in which case, I 
submit, he has a right to satisfaction." 

Mr. Winkle, with great self-denial, expressed himself quite satisfied 

'♦ Or possibly," said the man with the camp-stool, " the gentleman's 
second may feel himself affronted with some observations which fell 
from me at an early period of this meeting : if so, I shall be happy to 
give him satisfaction immediately." 

Mr. Snodgrass hastily professed himself very much obliged with the 
handsome ofi*er of the gentleman who had spoken last, which he was 
only induced to decline, by his entire contentment with the whole pro- 
ceedings. The two seconds adjusted the cases, and the whole party 
left the ground in a much more lively manner than thoy had proceeded 

to it. 

"Do you remain long here?" inquired Doctor Slammer of Mr. 
Winkle, as they walked on most amicably together. 

"I think we shall leave here the day after to-morrow," was the 

" I trust I shall have the pleasure of seeing you and your friend at 



my rooms, and of spending a pleasant evening with you, after this 
awkward mistake," said the little doctor; "are you disengaged this 

evening ?* 

*♦ We have some friends here," replied Mr. Winkle, " and I should not 
like to leave them to-night. Perhaps you and your friend will join us 

at the Bull." , , , , 

" With great pleasure," said the little doctor ; " will ten o clock be 
too late to look in for half an hour ?" 

" Oh dear, no," said Mr. Winkle. " I shall be most happy to mtro- 
duce you to my friends, Mr. Pickwick and Mr. Tupman." 

<' It will give me great pleasure, I am sure," replied Doctor Slammer, 
little suspecting who Mr. Tupman was. 

" You will be sure to come ?" said Mr. Snodgrass. 

<' Oh certainly." 

By this time they had reached the road. Cordial farewells were 
exchanged, and the party separated. Doctor Slammer and his friends 
repaired to the barracks, and Mr. Winkle, accompanied by his friend, 
Mr. Snodgrass, returned to their inn. 




Mr. Pickwick had felt some apprehensions in consequence of the 
unusual absence of his two friends, which their mysterious behaviour 
during the whole morning had by no means tended to diminish. It 
was, therefore, with more than ordinary pleasure that he rose to greet 
them when they again entered ; and with more than ordinary interest 
that he inquired what had occurred to detain them from his society. 
In reply to his questions on this point, Mr. Snodgrass was about to 
offer an historical account of the circumstances just now detailed, when 
he was suddenly checked, by observing that there were present, not 
only Mr. Tupman and their stage-coach companion of the preceding 
day, but another stranger of equally singular appearance. It was a 
care-worn looking man, whose sallow face, and deeply sunken eyes, were 
rendered still more striking than nature had made them, by the straight 
black hair which hung in matted disorder half w:ay down his face. His 
eyes were almost unnaturally bright and piercing; his cheek-bones 
were high and prominent ; and his jaws were so long and lank, that an 
observ'er would have supposed he was drawing the flesh of his face in, 
for a moment, by some contraction of the muscles, if his half-opened 
mouth and immoveable expression had not announced that it was his 
ordinary appearance. Round his neck he wore a green shawl, with the 
large ends straggling over his chest, and making their appearance 
occasionally, beneath the worn button-holes of his old waistcoat. His 
upper garment was a long black surtout ; and below it, he wore wide 
drab trousers, and large boots, running rapidly to seed. 


It was on this uncouth-looking person, that Mr. Winkle's eye rested, 
and it was towards him that Mr. Pickwick extended his hand, when he 
said " A friend of our friend's here. "We discovered this morning that 
our friend was connected with the theatre in this place, though he is 
not desirous to have it generally known, and this gentleman is a mem- 
ber of the same profession. He was about to favour us with a little 
anecdote connected with it, when you entered." 

" Lots of aYiecdote," said the green-coated stranger of the day 
before, advancing to Mr. Winkle and speaking in a low confidential 
tone. " Rum fellow — does the heavy business — no actor — strange man 
— all sorts of miseries^ — dismal Jemmy, we call him on the circuit." Mr. 
Winkle and Mr. Snodgrass politely welcomed the gentleman, elegantly 
designated as " Dismal Jemmy ;" and calling for brandy and water, in 
imitation of the remainder of the company, seated themselves at the 

" Now, Sir," said Mr. Pickwick, " will you oblige us with proceed- 
ing with what you were going to relate ?" 

The dismal individual took a di'rty roll of paper from his pocket, and 
turning to Mr. Snodgrass, who had just taken out his note-book, said 
in a hollow voice, perfectly in keeping with his outward man — " Are 
you the poet?" 

« I — I do a little in that way," replied Mr. Snodgrass, rather taken 
aback by the abruptness of the question. 

" Ah ! poetry makes life, what lights and music do the stage. Strip 
the one of its false embellishments, and the other of its illusions, and 
what is there real in either, to live or care for ^" 

i< Yery true, Sir," replie'd Mr. Snodgrass. 

" To be before the footlights," continued the dismal man, " is like 
sitting at a grand court show, and admiring the silken dresses of the 
gaudy throng — to be behind them, is to be the people who make that 
finery, uncared for and unknown, and left to sink or swim, to starve 
or live, as fortune wills it." 

" Certainly," said Mr. Snodgrass : for the sunken eye of the dismal 
man rested on him, and he felt it necessary to say something. 

"Go on, Jemmy," said the Spanish traveller, "like black -eyed 
Susan — all in the Downs — no croaking — speak out — look lively." 

" Will you make another glass before you begin. Sir?" said Mr. 

The dismal man took the hint, and having mixed a glass of brandy 
md water, and slowly swallowed half of it, opened the roll of paper and 
proceeded, partly to read and partly to rtlaie, the following incident, 
which we find recorded on the Transactions of the club, as " The 
Stroller's Tale." 


THE stroller's tale. 

** There is nothing of the marvellous in what I am going to relate," 
said the dismal man ; " there is nothing even uncommon in it. Want 
and sickness are too common in many stations of life, to deserve more 
notice than is usually bestowed on the most ordinary vicissitudes of 
human nature. I have thrown these few notes together, because the 
subject of them was well known to me for many years. I traced his 
progress downwards, step by step, until at last he reached that excess 
of destitution from which he never rose again. 

" The man of whom I speak was a low pantomime actor ; and, like 
many people of his class, an habitual drunkard. In his better days, 
before he had become enfeebled by dissipation and emaciated by disease, 
he had been in the receipt of a good salary, which, if he had been 
careful and prudent, he might have continued to receive for some years 
— not many ; because these men either die early, or, by unnaturally 
taxing their bodily energies, lose, prematurely, those physical powers 
on which alone they can depend for subsistence. His besetting sin 
gained so fast upon him, however, that it was found impossible to 
employ him in the situations in which he really was useful to the 
theatre. The public-house had a fascination for him which he could 
not resist. Neglected disease and hopeless poverty were as certain to 
be his portion as death itself, if he persevered in the same course ; yet 
he did persevere, and the result may be guessed. He could obtain no 
engagement, and he wanted bread. 

•' Everybody who is at all acquainted with theatrical matters, knows 
what a host of shabby, poverty-stricken men, hang about the stage of a 
large establishment — not regularly engaged actors, but ballet people, 
procession men, tumblers, and so forth, who are taken on during the 
run of a pantomime, or an Easter piece, and are then discharged, until 
the production of some heavy spectacle occasions a new demand for 
their services. To this mode of life the man was compelled to resort ; 
and taking the chair every night, at some low theatrical house, at once 
put him in possession of a few more shillings weekly, and enabled him 
to gratify his old propensity. Even this resource shortly failed him ; his 
irregularities were too great to admit of his earning the wretched 
pittance he might thus have procured, and he was actually reduced to a 
state bordering on starvation, only procuring a trifle occasionally by 
borrowing it of some old companion, or by obtaining an appearance at 
one or other of the commonest of the minor theatres ; and when he 
d earn anything, it was spent in the old way. 

" About this time, and when he had been existing for upwards of a 
ear no one knew how, I had a short engagement at one of the theatres 
D the Surrey side of the water, and here I saw this man, whom I bai 




lost sight offer some time ; for I had been travelling in the provinces, 
and he had been skulking- in the lanes and alleys of London. I was 
dressed to leave the house, and was crossing the stage on my way out, 
when he tapped me on the shoulder. Never shall I forget the repul- 
sive sight that met my eye when I turned round. He was dressed for 
the pantomime, in all the absurdity of a clown's costume. The spectral 
figures in the Dance of Death, the most frightful shapes that the ablest 
painter ever portrayed on canvas, never presented an appearance half 
so ghastly. His bloated body and shrunken legs — their deformity 
enhanced a hundred fold by the fantastic dress — the glassy eyes, con- 
trasting fearfully with the thick white paint with which the face was 
besmeared: the grotesquely-ornamented head, trembling with paralysis, 
and the long skinny hands, rubbed with white chalk— all gave him a 
hideous and unnatural appearance, of which no description could convey 
an adequate idea, and which, to this day, I shudder to think of. His 
voice was hollow and tremulous, as he took me aside, and in broken 
words recounted a long catalogue of sickness and privations, terminating, 
as usual, with an urgent request for the loan of a trifling sum of money. 
I put a few shillings in his hand, and, as I turned away, I heard the 
roar of laughter which followed his first tumble on to the stage. 

" A few nights afterwards, a boy put a dirty scrap of paper in my 
hand, on which were scrawled a few words in pencil, intimating that 
the man was dangerously ill, and begging me, after the performance, to 
see him at his lodgings in some street — I forget the name of it now — 
at no great distance from the theatre. I promised to comply, as soon 
as I could get away ; and, after the curtain fell, sallied forth on my 
melancholy errand. 

" It was late, for I had been playing in the last piece ; and, as it was 
a beneflt night, the performances had been protracted to ah unusual 
length. It was a dark cold night, with a chill damp wind, which blew 
the rain heavily against the windows and house-fronts. Pools of water 
had collected in the narrow and little-frequented streets, and as many 
of the thinly-scattered oil-lamps had been blown out by the violence of 
the wind, the walk was not only a comfortless, but most uncertain one. 
1 had fortunately taken the right course, however, and succeeded, after a 
little difficulty, in finding the house to which I had been directed — a coal 
shed, with one story above it, in the back room of which lay the object 
of my search. 

" A wretched-looking woman, the man's wife, met me on the stairs, 
and, telling me that he had just fallen into a kind of doze, led me softly 
in, and placed a chair for me at the bed-side. The sick man was lying 
with his face turned towards the wall ; and as he took no heed of my 
presence, I had leisure to observe the place in which I fiound myself. 

" He was lying on an old bedstead, which turned up during the day. 
The tattered remains of a checked curtain were drawn round the bed's 
head, to exclude the wind, which however made its way into the com- 
fortless room through the numerous chinks in the door, and blew it to 
and fro every instant. There was a low cinder fire in a rusty unfixed 
grate; and an eld three-cornered stained talle, with some meiicine- 
bolties, a broken glass, and a few other domestic articles, was drav*' out 


before it. A little child was sleeping on a temporary bed which liad 
been made for it on the floor, and the woman sat on a chair by its side. 
There were a couple of shelves, with a few j)lates and cups and saucers : 
and a pair of stage shoes and a couple of foils hung beneath them. 
With the exception of little heaps of ra2:s and bundles which had been 
carelessly thrown into the corners of the room, these were the only 
things in the apartment. 

" I had had time to note these little particulars, and to mark the 
heavy breathing and feverish starlings of the sick man, before he was 
aware of my presence. In his restless attempts to procure some easy 
resting-place for his head, he tossed his hand out of the bed, and it fell 
on mine. He started up, and stared eagerly in my face. 

"* Mr. Hutley, John,* said his wife ; ' Mr. Hutley, that you sent 
for to-night, you know.' 

" * Ah ! ' said the invalid, passing bis hand across his forehead ; 

* Hutley — Hutley — let me see.' He seemed endeavouring to collect his 
thoughts for a few seconds, and then grasping me tightly by the wrist, 
said, ' Don't leave me — don't leave me, old fellow. She'll murder me ; 
1 know she will.' 

** * Has he been long so ?' said I, addressing his weeping wife. 

" * Since yesterday night,' she replied. * John, John, don't you 
know me ? * 

** * Don't let her come near me,' said the man, with a shudder, as 
she stooped over him. * Drive her away ; 1 can't bear her near me.' 
He stared wildly at her, with a look of deadly apprehension, and then 
whispered in my ear, ' I beat her, Jem ; 1 beat her yesterday, and many 
times before. I have starved her, and the boy too ; and now I am weak 
and helpless, Jem, she'll murder me for it ; I know she will. If you'd 
seen her cry, as I have, you'd know it too. Keep her off.' He relaxed 
his grasp, and sunk back exhausted on the pillow, 

" I knew but too well what all this meant. If I could have entertained 
any doubt of it, for an instant, one glance at the woman's })ale 
face and wasted form would have sufficiently explained the real state 
of the case. ' You had better stand aside,' said I to the poor creature. 

* You can do him no good. Perhaps he will be calmer, if he does uo\ 
see you,* She retired out of the man's sight. He opened his eyes, 
after a few seconds, and looked anxiously round. 

" * Is she gone ? ' he eagerly inquired. 

*' * Yes — yes,* said I ; ' she shall not hurt you.' 

"* I'll tell you what, Jem,' sai<l the man, in a low voice, * she does 
hurt me. There's something in her eyes wakes such a dreadful fear in 
my heart, that it drives me mad. All last night, her large staring eyes 
and pale face were close to mine; wherever 1 turned, they turned ; and 
whenever I started up from my sleep, she was at the bed-side looking 
at me.* He drew me closer to him, as he said in a deep, alarmed whis- 
per — * Jem, she must be an evil spirit — a devil I Hush ! I know she 
is. If she had been a woman, she would have died long ago. No 
woman could have borne what she has.' 

" I sickened at the thought of the long course of cruelty and neglect 
which must have occurred to produce such an impression on such a 


man. I could say nothing- in reply; for who could offer hope, or conso- 
lation, to the abject being before me ? 

" I sat there for upwards of two hours, during- which time he tossed 
about, murmuring exclamations of pain or impatience, restlessly throw- 
ing his arms here and there, and turning constantly from side to side. 
At length he fell into that state of partial unconsciousness, in which 
the mind wanders uneasily from scene to scene, and from place to place, 
without the control of reason, but still without being able to divest 
itself of an indescribable sense of present suffering. Finding from his 
incoherent wanderings that this was the case, and knowing that in all 
probability the fever would not grow immediately worse, I left him, 
promising his miserable wife that I would repeat my visit next evening, 
and, if necessary, sit up with the patient during the night. 

" I kept my promise. The last four and twenty hours had produced 
a frightful alteration. The eyes, though deeply sunk and heavy, shone 
with a lustre, frightful to behold. The lips were parched, and cracked 
in many places : the dry hard skin glowed with a burning heat, and 
there was an almost unearthly air of wild anxiety in the man's face, 
indicating even more strongly the ravages of the disease. The fever 
was at its height. 

" I took the seat I had occupied the night before, and there I sat for 
hours, listening to sounds which must strike deep to the heart of the 
most callous among human beings — the awful ravings of a dying man. 
From what I had heard of the medical attendant's opinion, 1 knew 
there was no hope for him : I was sitting by his death-bed. I saw the 
wasted limbs, which a few hours before, had been distorted for the amuse- 
ment of a boisterous gallery, writhing under the tortures of a burning 
fever — I heard the clown's shrill laugh, blending with the low murmur- 
ings of the dying man. 

" It is a touching thing to hear the mind reverting to the ordinary 
occupations and pursuits of health, when the body lies before you weak 
and helpless ; but when those occupations are of a character the most 
strongly opposed to any thing we associate with grave or solemn ideas 
the impression produced is infinitely more powerful. The theatre, and the 
public-house, were the chief themes of the wretched man's wanderings. 
It was evening, he fancied ; he had a part to play that night ; it was 
late, and he must leave home instantly. Why did they hold him, and 
prevent his going — he should lose the money — he must go. No ! they 
would not let him. He hid his face in his burning hands, and feebly 
bemoaned his own weakness, and the cruelty of his persecutors. A 
short pause, and he shouted out a few doggerel rhymes — the last he had 
ever learnt. He rose in bed, drew up his withered limbs, and rolled 
about in uncouth positions ; he was acting — he was at the theatre. A 
minute's silence, and he murmured the burden of some roaring song. 
He had reached the old house at last ; how hot the room was. He had 
been ill, very ill, but he was well now, and happy. Fill up his glass. 
Who was that, that dashed it from his lips ? It was the same perse- 
cutor that had followed him before. He fell back upon bis pillow, and 
moaned aloud. A short period of oblivion, and he was wandering 
through a tedious maze of low arched rooms — so low, sometimes, that 



yoaye 31 


he must creep upon his hands and knees to make his way along ; it was 
close and dark, and every way ho turned, some obstacle impeded his 
progress. There were insects too, hideous crawling things, with eyea 
that stared upon him, and filii'd the very air around : glistening horribly 
amidst the thick darkness of the place. The walls and ceiling were 
alive with reptiles — the vault expanded to an enormous size — frightful 
figures flitted to and fro — and the faces of men he knew, rendered 
hideous by gibing and mouthing, peered out from among them ; they 
were searing him with heated irons, and binding his head with cords 
till the blood started ; and he struggled madly for life. 

*• At the close of one of these paroxysms, when I had with great 
difficulty held him down in his bed, he sank into what appeared to 
be a slumber. Overpowered with watching and exertion, I had closed 
my eyes for a few minutes, when I felt a violent clutch on my shoulder. 
I awoke instantly. He had raised himself up, so as to seat himself in 
bed — a dreadful change had come over his face, but consciousneiss ha.i 
returned, for he evidently knew me. The child who had been long 
since disturbed by his ravings, rose from its little bed, and ran towards 
its father, screaming with fright — the mother hastily caught it in her 
arms, lest he should injure it in the violence of his insanity: but, terrified 
by the alteration of his features, stood transfixed by the bed-side. He 
grasped my shoulder convulsively, and, striking his breast with the 
other hand, made a desperate attempt to articulate. It was unavailing 
— he extended his arm towards them, and made another violent effort. 
There was a rattling noise in the throat — a glare of the eye — a short 
stifled groan — and he fell back — dead ! " 

It would afford us the highest gratification to be enabled to record 
Mr. Pickwick's opinion of the foregoing anecdote. We have little 
doubt that we should have been enabled to present it to our readers, 
but for a most unfortunate occurrence. 

Mr. Pickwick had replaced on the table, the glass which, during the 
last few sentences of the tale, he had retained in his hand ; and had just 
made up his mind to speak — indeed, we have the authority of Mr. 
Snodgrass's note-book for stating, that he had actually opened his 
mouth — when the waiter entered the room, and said — 

'* Some gentlemen, Sir." 

It has been conjectured that Mr. Pickwick was on the point of deli- 
vering some remarks which would have enlightened the world, if not the 
Thames, when he was thns interrupted : for he gazed sternly on the 
waiter's countenance, and then looked round on the company generally, 
as if seeking for information relative to the new comers. 

" Oh ! " said Mr. Winkle, rising, " some friends of mine — show them 
in. Very pleasant fellows," added Mr. Winkle, after the waiter had 
retired — " Officers of the 97th, whose acquaintance I made rather oddly 
this morning. You will like them very much." 

Mr. Pickwick's equanimity was at once restored. The waiter 
returned, and ushered three gentlemen into the room. 

" Lieutenant Tappleton," ^aid Mr. Winkle, " Lieutenant Tappleton, 
Mr. Pickwick — Doctor Payne, Mr. Pickwick — Mr. Snodgrass, you have 

8^ POSTHUMOUS Papers of 

seen before : my friend Mr. Tupman, Doctor Payne—Doctor Slammer, 
Mr. Pickwick— Mr. Tupman, Doctor Slam— ". 

Here Mr. Winkle suddenly paused ; for strong- emotion was visible 
on the countenance both of Mr. Tupman and the Doctor. 

'* I have met this gentleman before/' said the Doctor, with marked 

" Indeed ! " said Mr. Winkle. 

"And — and that person, too, if I am not mistaken," said the Doctor, 
bestowing- a scrutinizing- glance on the green-coated stranger. " I think 
I gave that person a very pressing invitation last night, which he 
thought proper to decline." Saying which, the Doctor scowled mag- 
nanimously on the stranger, and whispered his friend Lieutenant Tap- 

*' You don't say so," said that gentleman, at the conclusion of the 

*' I do, indeed," replied Doctor Slammer. 

*' You are bound to kick him on the spot," murmured the owner of 
the camp-stool, w^ith great importance. 

" Do be quiet, Payne," interposed the Lieutenant. " Will you allow 
me to ask you. Sir," he said, addressing Mr. Pickwick, who was consi- 
derably mystified by this very unpolite by-play — ''- Will you allow me to 
ask you, Sir, whether that person belongs to your party ?" 

" No, Sir," replied Mr. Pickwick, *' he is a guest of ours." 

" He is a member of your club, or I am mistaken ? " said the Lieu- 
tenant, inquiringly. 

" Certainly not," responded Mr. Pickwick. 

" And never wears your club-button ? " said the Lieutenant. 

" No — neverl " repHed the astonished Mr. Pickwick. 

Lieutenant Tappleton turned round to his friend Doctor Slammer, 
with a scarcely perceptible shrug of the shoulder, as if implying some 
doubt of the accuracy of his recollection. The little Doctor looked 
wrathful, but confounded ; and Mr. Payne gazed with a ferocious aspect 
on the beaming countenance of the unconscious Pickwick. 

" Sir," said the Doctor, suddenly addressing Mr. Tupman, in a tone 
which made that gentleman start as perceptibly as if a pin had been 
cunningly inserted in the calf of his leg — " you were at the ball here, 
last night ? " 

Mr. Tupman gasped a faint affirmative ; looking very hard at Mr. 
Pickwick all the while. 

" That person was your companion," said the Doctor, pointing to 
the still unmoved stranger. 

Mr. Tupman admitted the fact. 

" Now, Sir," said the Doctor to the stranger, " I ask you once again, 
in the presence of these gentlemen, whether you choose to give me 
your card, and to receive the treatment of a gentleman ; or whether you 
impose upon me the necessity of personally chastising you on the 
spot ? " 

" Stay, Sir," said Mr. Pickwick, " I really cannot allow this matte- 
to go any further without some explanation. Tupman^ recount the 


Mr. Tupman, tluis solemnly a<ljure<l) stated the case in a few words ; 
touched slii^htly on the borrowing of the coat; expatiated largely on its 
having been done " after dinner;" wound up with a little penitence on 
his own account; and left the strang-er to cleur himself as he best could. 

He was apparently about to procee<l to «lo so, when Lieutenant Tap- 
pleton, who had been eyeing him with great curiosity, said with consi- 
derable scorn — " Haven't I seen you at the theatre, Sir ? " 

" Certainly," replied the unabashed stranger. 

" He is a strolling actor," said the Lieutenant, contemptuously: 
turning to Dr. Slammer — " He acts in the piece that the Officers of the 
52nd get up at the Rochester theatre to-morrow night. You cannot 
proceed in this affair, Slammer — impossible I " 

" Quite ! " said the dignified Payne. 

*' Sorry to have placed you in this disagreeable situation," said Lieu- 
tenant Tappleton, addressing Mr. Pickwick, "allow me to suggest, 
that the best way of avoiding a recurrence of such scenes in future, 
will be to Se more select in the choice of your companions. Good 
evening, Sir ! " and the Lieutenant bounced out of the room. 

" And allow me' to say. Sir." said the irascible Doctor Payne, " that 
if I had been Tappleton, or if I had been Slammer, I would have pulled 
your nose. Sir, and the nose of every man in this company. I would. 
Sir, — every man. Payne is my name, Sir — Doctor Payne of the 43rd. 
Good evening. Sir." Having concluded this s]>eech, and uttered the 
three last words in a loud key, he stalked majestically after his friend, 
closely followed by Doctor Slammer, who said nothing, but contented 
himself by withering the company with a look. 

Rising rage and extreme bewilderment had swelled the noble breast 
of Mr. Pickwick, almost to the bursting of his waistcoat, during the 
delivery of the above defiance. He stood transfixed to the spot, gazing on 
vacancy. The closing of the door recalled him to himself. He rushed 
forward with fury in his looks, and fire in his eye. His hand was upon 
the lock of the door ; in another instant it would have been on the 
throat of Doctor Payne of the 43rd, had not Mr. Snodgrass seized his 
revered leader by the coat t.iil, and dragged him backwards. 

" Restrain him," cried Mr. Snodgrass, " Winkle, Tupman — he 
must not peril his distinguished life in such a cause as this." 

" Let me go," said Mr. Pickwick. 

" Hold him tight," shouted Mr. Snodgrass ; and by the united 
efforts of the whole company, Mr. Pickwick was forced into an arm 

" Leave him alone," said the green-coated stranger — "brandy and 
water — jolly old gentleman — lots of pluck — swallow this — ah ! — capital 
stuff." Having previously tested the virtues of a bumper, which had 
been mixed by the dismal man, the stranger applied the glass to Mr. 
Pickwick's mouth ; and the remainder of its contents rapidly disap- 

There was a short pause ; the brandy and water had done its work ; 
the amiable countenance of Mr. Pickwick was fast recovering its custo- 
mary expression. 

" They are not worth your notice," said the dismal man. 


" You are right, Sir." replied Mr. Pickwick, " they are not. I am 
ashamed to have been betrayed into this warmth of feeling. Draw 
your chair up to the table. Sir." 

The dismal man readily complied : a circle was again formed round 
the table, and harmony once more prevailed. Some lingering irritabi- 
lity appeared to find a resting place in Mr. Winkle's bosom, occasioned 
possibly by the temporary abstraction of his coat — though it is scarcely 
reasonable to suppose, that so slight a circumstance can have excited 
even a passing feeling of anger in a Pickwickian breast. With this 
exception, their good humour was completely restored ; and the 
evening concluded with the conviviality with which it had begun. 



Many authors entertain, not only a foolish, but a really dishonest 
objection, to acknowledge the sources from whence they derive much 
valuable information. We have no such feeling. We are merely en- 
deavouring to discharge in an upright manner, the responsible duties of 
our editorial functions ; and whatever ambition we might have felt 
under other circumstances, to lay claim to the authorship of these 
adventures, a regard for truth forbids us to do more, than claim the 
merit of their judicious arrangement, and impartial narration. The 
Pickwick papers are our New River Head ; and we may be compared 
to the New River Company. The labours of others, have raised for us 
an immense reservoir of important facts. We merely lay them on, 
and communicate them, in a clear and gentle stream, through the 
medium of these numbers, to a world thirsting for Pickwickian 

Acting in this spirit, and resolutely proceeding on our determination 
to avow our obligations to the authorities we have consulted, we frankly 
say, that to the note-book of Mr. Snodgrass are we indebted for the 
particulars recorded in this, and the succeeding chapter — particu- 
lars, which, now that we have disburdened our conscience, we shall 
proceed to detail without further comment. 

The whole population of Rochester and this adjoining towns, rose 
from their beds at an early hour of the following morning, in a state 
of the utmost bustle and excitement. A grand review was to take 
place upon the lines. The manoeuvres of half a dozen regiments were 
to be inspected by the eagle eye of the commander-in-chief; temporary 
fortifications had been erected, the citadel was to be attacked and 
taken, and a mine was to be sprung. 

Mr. Pickwick was, as our readers may have gathered from the slight 
extract we gave from his description of Chatham, an enthusiastic 
admirer of the army. Nothing could have been more delightful to him 

THE PirKVVliJK cf.Vif* 35 

~nothin^ could have harmoiu'zed so well witn the prruliar feeling u. 
Mich of iiks companions — as tliis si^ht. Accordingly they were soon 
a-foot> end walking in the direction of ibe scene of action, towardf> 
which crowds of people were already pouring, from a variety of quarters. 
The appearance of everything on the lines, denoted that the ap- 
proftching ceremony was one of the utmost gr^^deur and importance. 
There were sentries posted to keep the ground for the troops, and 
servants on tiie batteries keepii\g places for the ladies, and sergeant^ 
running* to and fro, with vellum covered books undjcw their arms, and 
Colonel Bulder, in full military yniform, on horseback, gallopping first 
to one place and then to another, and backing his horse among the 
people, and prancing, and curvetting, and shouting in a most alarming 
manner, and making himself very hoarse in the voice, and very red in 
the face, without any assignable cause or reason whatever. Officprs 
were running backwards and forwards, iirst coraoiunicating with Colonel 
Bulder, and then ordering the sergeants, and then running away alto- 
gether: and even the very privates themselves looked from btliind 
their glazed stocks with an air of mysterious solemnity, which suffi- 
ciently bespoke the special nature of the occasion. 

Mr. Pickwick and his three companions stationed themselves in tli« 
front rank of the crowd, and patiently awaited the commencement ot 
the proceedings. The throng was increasing every moment ; and th^ 
efforts they were compelled to make, to retain the position they had 
gained, sufficiently occupied their attention during the two hours that 
ensued. At one time there was a sudden pressure from behind ; and 
then Mr. Pickwick was jerked forward for several yards, with a degree 
of speed and elasticity highly inconsistent with the general gravity of 
his demeanour; at another moment there w^ a request to "keep 
!>ack" from the front, and then the butt end of a musket >vas either 
dropped upon Mr. Pickwick'^ too, to remind hiin of the demand, or 
-thrust into his chest to ensure its being complied w ith. Then some 
facetious gentlemen on the left, after pressing sideways in a body, and 
squeezing Mr. Snodgrass into the very last, extreme of human torture, 
would request to know " vere he vos a 6ho\ in' to," and when Mr. 
Winkle had done expressing his excessive indignation at witnessing 
'this unprovoked assault, some person behind would knock his hat over 
his eyes, and beg the favour of his putting his head in bis pocket. 
These, and other practical witticisms, coupled with the unaccountable 
absence of Mr, Tupman (who had suddenly disappeared, and was 
nowhere to be found), rendered their situation upon the whole ratl^er 
more uncomfortable, than pleasing or desirable. 

At length that low roar of many voices ran through the crowd, 
which nsually announces the arrival of whatever they have been 
waiting for. All eyes were turned in the direction of the sally-port. 
A few moments of eager expectation, and colours were seen fluttering 
gaily in the air, arms glistened brightly in the sun : column at'tor 
column poured on to the plain. The troops halted and formed ; ir^i. 
word of command rung through the line, there was a general clash o> 
muskets, as arms were presented ; and the commander-in-chief, attended 
hy Colonel Bulder and numerous oAcers cantered to the front. Th^ 



military bands struck up altogether: i he horses stood n pen two leg-3 
each, cantered backwards, and whisked their tails about in all direc- 
tions : the dogs barked, the mob screamed, the troops recovered, and 
nothing was to be seen on either side, as far as the eye could reach, but 
a long perspective of red coats and white trousers, fixed and motionless. 

Mr. Pickwick had been so fully occupied in falling about, and disen- 
tangling himself, miraculously, from between the legs of horses, that 
he had not enjoyed sufficient leisure to observe the scene before him, 
until it assumed the appearance we have just described. When he was 
at last enabled to stand firmly on his legs, his gratification and dehght 
were unbounded. 

"Can anything be finer, or more delightful?" he inquired of Mr 

" Nothing," replied that gentleman, who had had a short man 
standing on each of his feet, for the quarter of an hour immediately 

" It is indeed a noble and a brilliant sight," said Mr. Snodgrass, in 
whose bosom a blaze of poetry was rapidly bursting forth, " to see the 
gallant defenders of their country, drawn up in brilliant array before its 
peaceful citizens : their faces beaming — not with warlike ferocity, but 
with civilized gentleness: their eyes Hashing — not with the rude fire 
of rapine or revenge, but with the soft light of humanity and intel- 

Mr. Pickwick fully entered into the spirit of this eulogium, but he 
could not exactly re-echo its terras ; for the soft light of intelligence 
burnt rather feebly in the eyes of the warriors, inasmuch as the com- 
mand *' eyes front" had been given ; and all the spectator saw before 
him was several thousand pair of optics, staring straight forward, wholly 
divested of any expression whatever. 

" We are in a capital situation, now," said Mr. Pickwick, looking 
round him. The crowd had gradually dispersed from their immediate 
vicinity, and they were nearly alone. 

'* Capital \" echoed both Mr. Snodgrass and Mr. Winkle. 

" What are they doing now ?" inquired Mr. Pickwick, adjusting his 

" I — I — rather think," said Mr. Winkle, changing colour — " I 
rather think they're going to fire." 

" Nonsense," said Mr. Pickwick, hastily. 

"I — I — really think they are," urged Mr. Snodgrass, somewhat 

" Impossible," replied Mr. Pickwick. He had hardly uttered the 
vfor^f when the whole half dozen regiments levelled their muskets as 
if they had but one common object, and that object the Pickwickians ; 
and burst forth with the most awful and tremendous discharge, that 
ever shook the earth to its centre, or an elderly gentleman off his. 

It was in this trying situation, exposed to a galling tire of blank car- 
tridges, and harassed by the operations of the military, a fresh body of 
whom had begun to fall in, on the opposite side, that Mr. Pickwick 
displayed that perfect coolness and self-possession, which are the indis- 
pensable accompaniments of a great mind. He seized Mr. Winkle by 



the arm, and placing liimself between that gentleman and IMr. Snod- 
grass, earnestly besought them to remember that beyond the possibility 
o( being rendered deaf by the noise, there was no immediate danger to 
he apprehended from the firing. 

" Rut — but — suppose some of the men should happen to have bull 
rartridges by mistake," remonstrated Mr. Winkle, pallid at the suppo- 
•ition he was himself conjuring up. " I heard something whistle 
Uirough the air just now — so sharp: close to my ear." 

" We had better throw ourselves on our faces, hadn't we.^" said Mr. 

*' No, no — it's over now," said Mr. Pickwick. His lip might quiver, 
and his cheek might blanch, but no expression of tear or concern 
escaped the lips of that immortal man. 

Mr. Pickwick was right : the firing ceased ; but he had scarcely 
time to congratulate himself on the accuracy of his opinion, when a 
quick movement was visible in the line: the hoarse shout of the word 
of command ran along it, and before either of the party could form a 
guess at the meaning of this new manoeuvre, the whole of the half 
dozen regiments, witli fixed bayonets, charged at double quick time 
down upon the very spot on which Mr. Pickwick and his friends were 

Man is but mortal; and there is a point beyond which human cou- 
rage cannot extend. Mr. Pickwick gazed through his spectacles for an 
instant on the advancing mass ; and then fairly turned his back and — 
we will not say fled ; first, because it is an ignoble term, and, secondly, 
because Mr. Pickwick's figure was by no means adapted for that mode 
of retreat — he trotted away, at as quick a rate as his legs would convey 
him ; so quickly, indeed, that he did not perceive the awkwardness of 
his situation, to the full extent, nntil too late. 

The opposite troops, whose falling-in had perplexed Mr. Pickwick a 
few seconds before, were drawn up to repel the mimic attack of the 
sham besiegers of the citadel ; and the consequence was, that Mr. 
Pickwick and his two companions found themselves suddenly inclosed 
between two lines of great length ; the one advancing at a rapid pace, 
and the other firmly waiting the collision in hostile array. 

" Hoi !" shouted the officers of the advancing line — 

" Get out of the way," cried the officers of the stationary one. 

" Where are we to go to?" screamed the agitated Pickwickians. 

" Hoi — hoi — hoi," was the only reply. There was a moment o{ 
intense bewilderment, a heavy tramp of footsteps, a violent concussion ; 
a smothered laugh — the half dozen regiments were half a thousand 
yards off; and the soles of Mr. Pickwick's boots were elevated in air. 

Mr. Snodgrass and Mr. Winkle had each performed a compulsory 
summerset with remarkable agility, when the first object that met the 
eyes of the latter as he sat on the ground, staunching with a yellow 
silk handkerchief the stream of life which issued from his nose, was his 
venerated leader at some distance off, running after his own hat> whicl" 
was gambolling playfully away in perspective. 

There are very few moments in a man's existence, when he expe- 
riences 60 murh ludicrous distress, or meets with so little charitable 


commiseration, as wheh he is in pursuit of his own hat. A vast deal 
ot coolness, and a peculiar degree of judgment, are requisite in catehing 
a hat. A man must not be precipitate, or he runs over it : he must 
iiot rush into the opposite extreme, or he loses it altogTether, The best 
way is, to keep gently Up with the object of pursuit, to be wary and 
cautious, to watch yoUr opportunity well, get gradually before it, then 
make a rapid dive, seii^e it by the crown, and stick it firmly on your 
head : smiling pleasantly all the time, as if you thought it as good a 
ioke as anybody else. 

There was a fine gentle wind, and Mr. Pickwick's hat rolled 
sportively before it. The wind ptiifed, and Mr. Pickwick puffed, and 
the hat rolled over and over as hierrily as a lively porpoise in a strong 
tide ; and on it might have rolled, far beyond Mr. Pickwick's reach^ 
had not its course been providentially stopped, just as that gentleman 
was on the point of refeignin^ it tb its fate. 

Mr. Pickwick, vv6 say, ivias completely exhausted, artd about to give 
up the chase, when the hat Vvas blown with some violence against the 
wheel of a cari-iage, which was draWh up in a line with half-a-dozen 
other vehicles, on the spot id which his steps had been directed. Mr. 
Pickwick, perceivings his advantage, darted briskly forward, SBcure^d his 
property, planted it on his head, and paused to take breath. He 
had not been stationary half a hiin'^te^ when he heard his own name 
eagerly pronounced by a voice, which he at once recognised as Mr. 
TupUian's, and, looking upwards, he beheld a sight which filled hira 
Vvith surprise and pleasure. 

In an open barouche, the horses of which had been taken oat, the 
better to accommodate it't6 the crowded place, stood a stotitold gsentk" 
Inan, in a blue coat and bright buttons, corderoy breeches and top 
boots, two young ladies in Scarfs ai^d featlters, a youivg gentleman 
apparently enamoured of one of the young ladies in scarfe and feathers, 
a lady of doubtful age, probably tfee aulit of the aforesaid, and Mr. 
Tu])man, as easy and unconcejrned as if he had belonged to the family 
'from the first moments of Wis infartcy. Fastened up behind the Wouche 
was a hafnper of spacious ^mensi^^ns — one of those hampers which 
always awakens in a contemplative "rtiind, associations csouftected with 
cold fowls, tongue, and bottles of wine — ^and on the box sat a fat and 
red-faCed boy, in a state of somnolelicy, whom no speculative observer 
could have regarded for an inf^aht 'without Setting down as the official 
dispenser 6f the contents of 'the befdre-nientioned hamper, when th^ 
proper time for their consumption ishottld a^rrive. 

Mr. Pickwick had bestotved a hasty -g^latice on thfesfe rttterestii% 
objects, when he was again gteeted by 4iis faithftfl disciple. 

" l^ickvvick— Pickwick," said I^r. tufpmah ; " come tip here. Make 


^ Come along, 'Sir. Pray, Come Up/' ^dd the stoUt gentleman, 
« Joe! — damn that boy, he's gone to sleep %gain.-^-Joe, let down the 
steps." The fat boy rolled slowly 6ff the box, let down the steps, and 
held the carriage door invitingly open. Mr.^nodgrass and Mr. WinkVe 
Vatiie up at the mbhaent. 

*' Room for y bu %11, gentlfehiieh," said the stout man. ♦« Two inside, 







an<l uhe out. Joe, make room for one of these gentlemen on the box. 
Now, Sir, comeulong;" and the slout gentleman extended his arm, 
tnd pulled first Mr. Pickwick, and then Mr. SnoUgrass, into the 
l>arouche by main force. Mr. Winkle mounted to the box, the fat boy 
waddled to the same perch, and fell fast asleep instantly. 

** Well, gentlemen," said the stout man, " very glud to see you. 
Know you very well, gentlemen, though you mayn't remember me. 
I spent some ev'nins at your club last winter — picked up my friend 
Mr. Tupman here this morning, and very glad I was to see him. Well, 
Sir, and how are you ? You do look uncommon well, to be sure." 

Mr. Pickwick acknowledged the compliment, and cordially shook 
hands with the stout gentleman in the top boots. 

" Well, and how are you. Sir?" said tlie stout gentleman, addressing 
Mr. Snodgrass with paternal anxiety. " Charming, eh ? Well, that's 
right — that's right. And how are you, Sir (to Mr. Winkle) ? Well, 
I am glad to hear you say you are well ; very glad I am, to be sure. 
My daughters, gentlemen — my gals these are; and that's ray sister, 
Miss Uachael Wardle. She's a Miss, she is ; and yet she an't a Miss 
— eh, Sir — eh?" And the stout gentleman playfully inserted his 
elbow between the ribs of Mr. Pickwick, and laughed very heartily. 

** Lor, brother?" said Miss Wardle, with a deprecating smile. 

" True, true," said the stout gentleman ; " no one can deny it. 
tientlemeiv, I beg your pardon ; this is ray friend Mr. Trundle. And 
now you all know each other, let's be comfortable and happy, and see 
tvbat's going forward ; that's what I say." So the stout gentleman put 
on his spectacles, and Mr. Pickwick pulled out his glass, and everybody 
stood up in the carriage, and looked over somebody else's shoulder at 
the evolutions of the military. 

Astounding evolutions they were, one rank firing over the heads at 
another rank, and then running away ; and then the other rank firing- 
over the heads of another rank, and running away in their turn ; and 
then fonniBg squares, with officers in the centre ; and then descendir^ 
the trench on one side wrth scaling ladders, and rascending it on the 
-other agtiin by the same means; and knocking down barricades of 
baskets, and behaving in the most gallant manner possible. Then there 
was such a ramming down of the contents of enormous ^uns .on ihe. 
l>«ttery, with instruments like magnified mops ; such a preparation 
before they were let off, and such an awful noise when they did go, that 
the air resounded with the screams of ladies- The young iSIi^Js Wardles 
were so frightened, that Mr. Trundle was actually obliged to hold one 
of them up in the carriage, while Mr. Snodgrass supported the other , 
and Mr. "Wardle's sister suffered under such a dread^l state of nervous 
alarm, that Mr. Tupman found it indispensably necessary to put his arm 
round her waist, to keep her up at all. Everybody was excited, exeojit 
Wie fat boy, and he slept as soundly as if the roaring of cannon were 
his ordinary lullaby. 

** Joe, Joe!" said the stout gentleman, when the citadel was ti»ken, 
und the besiegers and besieged sat down to dinner. " Damn that ])oy, 
he's gone to sleep again. Be good enough to pinch him. Sir — in the 


leg, if you p.ease ; nothing else wakes him — thank you. Undo the 
hamper, Joe." 

The fat hoy, who had been effectually roused by the compression of 
a portion of his -leg, between the finger and thumb of Mr. Winkle, 
rolled off the box once again, and proceeded to unpack the hamper, 
with more expedition than could have been expected from his previous 

" Now, we must sit close," said the stout gentleman. After a great 
many jokes about squeezing the ladies' sleeves, and a vast quantity of 
blushing at sundry jocose proposals, that the ladies should sit in the 
gentlemen's laps, the whole party were stowed down in the })arouche ; 
and the stout gentleman proceeded to hand the things from the fat boy 
(who had mounted up behind for the purpose) into the carriage. 

" Now, Joe, knives and forks." The knives and forks were handed 
in, and the ladies and gentlemen inside, and Mr. Winkle on the box, 
were each furnished with those useful implements 

" Plates, Joe, plates." A similar process employed in the distribution 
of the crockery. 

" Now, Joe, the fowls. Damn that boy ; he's gone to sleep again. 
Joe ! Joe !" (Sundry taps on the head with a stick, and the fat boy, 
with some difficulty, roused from his lethargy). " Come, hand in the 

There was something in the sound of the last word, which roused the 
unctuous boy. He jumped up: and the leaden eyes, which twinkled 
behind his mountainous cheeks, leered horribly upon the food as he 
unpacked it from the basket. 

" Now, make haste," said Mr. Wardle ; for the fat boy was hanging 
fondly over a capon, which he seemed wholly unable to part with. The 
hoy sighed deeply, and, bestowing an ardent gaze upon its plumpness, 
unwillingly consigned it to his master. 

" That's right — look sharp. Now the tongue— now the pigeon-pie. 
Take care of that veal and ham — mind the lobsters — take the salad out 
of the cloth — give me the dressing." Such were the hurried orders 
which issued from the lips of Mr. Wardle, as he handed in the different 
articles described, and placed dishes in everybody's hands, and on 
everybody's knees, in endless number. 

"Now, aint this capital?" inquired that jolly personage, when 
the work of destruction had commenced. 

*• Capital ! " said Mr. Winkle, who was carving a fowl on the box. 

*' Glass of wine ?" 

*' With the greatest pleasure." 

*' You'd better have a bottle to yourself, up there, hadn't you ?" 

** You're very good." 


" Yes, Sir." (He wasn't asleep this time, having just succeeded in 
abstracting a veal patty). 

" Bottle of wine to the gentleman on the box. Glad to see you, Sir." 

" Thankee." Mr. Winkle emptied his glass, and placed the bottle 
on the coach- box, by his side. 


*♦ Will you permit nie to Lave the pleasure. Sir?" flaiJ Mr. Trundle 
to Mr. Winkle. 

" With great pleasure," replied Mr. Winkle to Mr. Trundle; an<l 
then the two gentlemen took wine, after which they took a glass of wiuc! 
round, ladies and all. 

** How dear Emily is flirting with the strange gentleman," whispered 
the spinster aunt, with true spinster-aunt-like envy, to her brother 
Mr. Wardle. 

** Oh I I don't know," said the jolly old gentleman ; " all very 
natural, I dare say — nothing unusual. Mr. Pickwick, some wine, Sir?" 
Mr. Piekwick, who had been deeply investigating the interior of the 
pigeon-pie, readily assented. 

" Emily, my dear," said the spinster aunt, with a patronising air, 
" don't talk so loud, love." 

*• Lor, aunt !" 

" Aunt and the little old gentleman want to have it all to them- 
selves, 1 think," whispered Miss Isabella Wardle to her sister Emily. 
The young ladies laughed very heartily, and the old one tried to 
look amiable, but couldn't manage it. 

" Young girls have such spirits," said Miss W^ardle to Mr. 
Tupman, with an air of gentle commiseration, as if animal spirits 
were contraband, and their possessiou without a permit, a high crime 
liud misdemeanour. 

♦* Oh, they have," replied Mr. Tupman, not exactly making the sort 
of reply that was expected from him. " It's quite delightful." 

" Hem !" said Miss W'ardle, rather dubiously. 

" Will you permit me," said Mr. Tupman, in his blandest manner, 
touching the enchanting Rachael's wrist with one hand, and gently 
elevating the bottle w ith the other. " Will you permit me ? " 

"Oh, Sir!" Mr. Tupman looked most impressive; and Rachael ex- 
pressed her fear that more guns were going off, in which case, of course, 
she would have required support again. 

" Do you think my dear nieces pretty? " whispered their affectionate 
aunt to Mr. Tupman. 

•' I should, if their aunt wasn't here," replied the ready Pickwickian, 
with a passionate glance. 

" Oh, you naughty man — but really, if their complexions were a 
Uttle better, don't you think they would be nice-looking girls — by 
candle-light ? " 

" Yes ; I think they would ;" said Mr. Tupman, with an air of 

" Ou, you quiz — 1 know what you were going to say." 

" What? " inquired Mr. Tupman, who had not precisely made up 
his mind to say anything at all. 

" You were going to say, that Isabella stoops — I know you were— 
you men are such observers. Well, so she does ; it can't be denied ; 
and, certainly, if there is one thing more than another that makes a 
girl look ugly, it is stooping. I often tell her, that when she gets a 
little older, she'll be quite frightful. Well, you are a quiz I** 


Mr. Tupman had no objection to earning the reputation at so clieap a 
rate : so he looked very knowing, and smiled mysteriously. 

*<Whata saresistic smile/' said the admiring Rachael; "I declare 
I'm quite afraid of you." 

" Afraid of me ! " 

" Oh, you can't disguise any thing from me — I know wiaat that 
smile means, Very well." 

" What ? " said Mr. Tupman, who had not the slightest notion 

" You mean," said the amiable aunt, sinking her voice still lower — 
" You mean, that you don't tbink Isabella's stooping is as bad as 
Emily's boldness. Well, she is bold ! You cannot think how wretched 
it makes me sometimes — ^^I'm sure I cry about it for hours together — 
my dear brother is so good, and so unsuspicious, that he never sees it ; 
if he did, I'm quite certain it would break his heart. I wish I could 
think it was only manner — I hope it may be — " (here the affectionate 
relative heaved a deep sigh, and shook her head despondingly). 

" I'm sure aunt's talking about us," whispered Miss Emily Wardle 
to her sister — " I m quite certain of it — &he looks so malicious." 

" Is she ? " replied Isabella — " Hem ! aunt, dear ! " 

*' Yes, my dear love ! " 

" I'm so afraid you'll catch cold, aunt — ^have a silk handerchief to 
tie round your dear old head — you really should take care of yourself — 
consider your age ! " 

However well'deserved this piece of retaliation might have been, it 
was as vindictive a one as could well have 'been resorted to. There is 
tio guessing in what form of reply the aunt's indignation would have 
vented itself, had not Mr. Wardle unconsciously changed the subject, 
by calling enrphatically for Joe. 

" Damn that boy," said the old gentleman, " he's gone to sleep 

'* Very extraordinary boy, that," said Mr. 'Pickwick, " does h=e "always 
sleep in this w»ay ? " 

" Sle^p I " said the old gentleman, " he's always -asleep. Goes on 
errands fast asleep, and ^ntJtes as he ^waits at 'tafble." 

*' How very odd ! " said Mr. Pickwick. 

*' Ah! odd indeed," returned the old gentleman ;" I'm proud of that 
boy — wouldn't part with him on any account — -damme, he's a natural 
curiosity I Here, Joe — Joe — take these things away, and open another 
'bottle — d'ye heat?" 

The fat boy rose, opened his eyes, swallowed the huge 'piece of pie 
he had been iti the act of masticating when he last fell asleep, and 
f-lowly obeyed his master's orders-^gloating languidly- over the remains 
of the feast, as he removed the plates, and deposited them in the liam- 
per. The fresh bottle was produced, and speedily emptied : tho hamper 
was made fast in its old place-^the fat boy once more mounted the box 
— the spectacles and pocket-glass were again adjusted— ^and the ovol*i- 
lutioiis of the military recommenced. There was a great fizzing and 
banging of 'giHis, and starting- of ladies— and then a mine. was f5pruB»g, 


to the pratificution of every botly — aiul when the mine bad gone off, 
the military and the company followed its example, and went off too. 

*< Now, mind," said the old gentleman, as be shook hands with Mr. 
Pickwick at the conclnsion of a conversation which had been carried on 
at intervals, during the conclusion of the proceedings — ** we shall see 
you all to-morrow." 

" Most certainly," replied Mr. Pickwick. 

" You have got the address ? " 

" Manor Farm, Dingley Dell," said Mr. Pickwick, consulting his 

" That's it," said the old gentleman. " I don't let you off, mind, 
under a week ; and undertake that you shall see everything worth see- 
ing. If you've come down for a country life, come to me, and I'll give 
you plenty of it. Joe — damn that boy, he's gone to sleep again — Joe, 
help Tom put in the horses." 

The horses were put in — the driver mounted — the fat boy clambered 
up by his side — farewells were exchanged — and the carriage rattled off. 
As the Pickwickians turned round to take a last glimpse of it, the set- 
ting sun cast a rich glow on the faces of their entertainers, and fell 
upon the form of the fat boy. His head was sunk upon his bosom ; and 
he slumbered again. 




Bright and pleasant was the sky, balmy the air, and beautiful the 
appearance of every object around, as Mr. Pickwick leant over the 
balustrades of Rochester Bridge, contemplating nature, and waiting for 
breakfast. The scene was indeed one, which might well have charmed 
a far less reflective mind, than that to which it was presented. 

On the left of the spectator lay the ruined wall, broken in many 
places, and in some, overhanging the narrow beach below in rude and 
heavy masses. Huge knots of sea-weed hung upon the jagged and 
j)ointed stones, trembling in every breath of wind; and the green ivy 
clung mournfully round the dark, and ruined battlements. Behind 
it rose the ancient castle, its towers roofless, and its massive walls 
crumbling away, but telling us proudly of its old might and strength, 
as when, seven hundred years ago, it rang with the clash of arms, or 
resounded with the noise of feasting and revelry. On either side, the 
banks of the Medway, covered with corn-fields and pastures, with here 
and there a windmill, or a distant church, stretched away as far as the 
eye could see, presenting a rich and varied landscape, rendered more 
beautiful by the changing shadows which passed swifily across it, as 
the thin and half- formed clouds skimmed away in the light of the 
morning sun. The river, reflecting the clear blue of the sky, glistened 
and iparkled as it flowed noiselessly on ; and the oars of the fishern eu 



dipped into the water with a clear and liquid sound, as their heavy but 
picturesque boats glided slowly down the stream. 

Mr. Pickwick was roused from the agreeable reverie into which he 
had been led by the objects before him, by a deep sigh, and a touch on 
his shoulder. He turned round : and the dismal man was at his side. 

« Contemplating the scene ? " inquired the dismal man. 

*' I was," said Mr. Pickwick. 

" And congratulating yourself on being up so soon ? " Mr. Pickwick 
nodded assent. 

" Ah I people need to rise early, to see the sun in all his splendour, 
far his brightness seldom lasts the day through. The morning of day 
and the morning of life are but too much alike." 

" You speak truly, Sir," said Mr. Pickwick. 

" How common the saying," continued the dismal man, " * The 
morning 's too tine to last.' How well might it be applied to our every- 
day existence. God I what would I forfeit to have the days of my 
childhood restored, or to be able to forget them for ever! " 

" You have seen much trouble, Sir," said Mr. Pickwick, com* 

" I have," said the dismal man, hurriedly ; " I have. More than 
those who see me now would believe possible." He paused for an 
instant, and then said, abruptly, 

" Did it ever strike you, on such a morning as this, that drowning 
would be happiness and peace ? " 

"God bless me, no!" replied Mr. Pickwick, edging a little from 
the balustrade, as the possibility of the dismal man's tipping him over, 
l>y way of experiment, occurred to him rather forcibly. 

" / have thought so, often," said the dismal man, without noticing 
the action. " The calm, cool water seems to me to murngur an invita- 
tion to repose and rest. A bound, a splash, a brief struggle ; there is 
an eddy for an instant, it gradually subsides into a gentle ripple ; the 
Waters have closed above your head, and the world has closed upon your 
miseries and misfortunes for ever." The sunken eye of the dismal 
man flashed brightly as he spoke, but the momentary excitement quickly 
subsided ; and he turned calmly away, as he said — 

" There — enough of that. I wished to see you on another subject. 
You invited me to read that paper, the night before last, and listened 
attentively while I did so." 

" I did," replied Mr. Pickwick ; " and I certainly thought " 

" I asked for no opinion," said the dismal man, interrupting him, 
" and I want none. You are travelling for amusement and instruction. 
Suppose I forwarded you a curious manuscript — observe, not curious 
because wild or improbable, but curious as a leaf from the romance of 
real life. Would you communicate it to the club, of which you have 
spoken so frequently?" 

<* Certainly," replied Mr. Pickwick, " if you wished it ; and it would 
be entered on their transactions." 

" You shall have it," replied the dismal man. " Your address ; " 
and, Mr. Pickwick having communicated their probable route, the 
dismal man carefully noted it down in a greasy pocket-book, and, 


resisting Mr. Pickwick's pressing- invitation to breakfast, left that gen- 
tleman at his inn, and walked slowly away. 

Mr. Pickwick found that his three companions had risen, and were 
waiting his arrival to commence hreakfast, which was ready laid in 
tempting display. They sat down to the meal; and broiled ham, eggn^ 
tea, coffee, and sundries, began to disappear with a rapidity which at 
once bore testimony to the excellence of the fare, and the appetites of 
its consumers. 

** Now, about Manor Farm," said Mr. Pickwick. " How shall we 

** We had better consult the waiter, perhaps," said Mr. Tupman ; 
and the waiter was summoned accordingly. 

*' Dingley Dell, gentlemen — fifteen miles, gentlemen — cross road — 
postchaise. Sir? " 

'• Post-chaise won't hold more than two," said Mr. Pickwick. 

" True, Sir — beg your pardon. Sir. — Very nice four-wheel chaise, 
Sir — seat for two behind — one in front for the gentleman that drives — 
oh ! beg your pardon, Sir — that'll only hold three." 

** What's to be done ? " said Mr. Snodgrass. 

" Perhaps one of the gentlemen like to ride, Sir," suggested the 
waiter, looking towards Mr. Winkle ; ** very good saddle horses. Sir — 
any of Mr. Wardle's men coming to Rochester, bring 'em back. Sir." 

'* The very thing," said Mr. Pickwick. " Winkle, will you go on 
horseback ? " 

Now Mr. Winkle did entertain considerable misgivings in the very 
lowest recesses of his own heart, relative to his equestrian skill ; but, as 
he would not have them even suspected on any account, he at once 
replied with great hardihood, " Certainly. I should enjoy it, of all 

Mr. Winkle had rushed upon his fate ; there was no resource. 
** Let them be at the door by eleven," said Mr. Pickwick. 

** Very well. Sir," replied the waiter. 

The waiter retired ; the breakfast concluded ; and the travellers 
ascended to their respective bedrooms, to prepare a change of clothing, 
to take with them on their approaching expedition. 

Mr. Pickwick had made his preliminary arrangements, and was 
looking over the coffee-room blinds at the passengers in the 
street, when the waiter entered, and announced that the chaise was 
ready — an announcement which the vehicle itself confirmed, by forth- 
with appearing before the coffee-room blinds aforesaid. 

It was a curious little green box on four wheels, with a low place like 
a wine bin for two behind, and an elevated perch for one in front, 
drawn by an immense brown horse, displaying great symmetry of bone. 
An hostler stood near it, holding by the bridle another immense horse — 
apparently a near relative of the animal in the chaise — ready saddled 
for Mr. Winkle. 

" Bless my soul I " said Mr. Pickwick, as they stood upon the pave- 
ment while the coats were being put in. " Bless my soul ! who's to 
drive ? I never thought of that." 

" Oh ! you, of course," said Mr. Tupmao 


" Of course," said Mr, Snodgrass. 

" I ! " exclaimed Mr. Pickwick. 
, « Not the slightest fear, Sir," interposed the hostler. ' Warrant him 
quiet. Sir ; a hinfant in arms might drive him." 

" He don't shy, does he ? " inquired Mr. Pickwick. 

"Shy, Sir? — He wouldn't shy if he was to meet a vaggin-load of 
monkeys, with their tails burnt off." 

The last recommendation was indisputable. Mr. Tupman and Mr. 
Snodgrass got into the bin ; Mr. Pickwick ascended to his perch, and 
deposited his feet on a floor-clothed shelf, erected beneath it, for that 

" Now, shiny Villiam," said the hostler to the deputy hostler, " give 
the gen'lm'n the ribbins." " Shiny Villiam"— so called, probably, from 
his sleek hair and oily countenance— placed the reins in Mr. Pickwick's 
left hand ; and the upper hostler thrust a whip into his right. 

" Woo," cried Mr. Pickwick, as the tall quadruped evinced a decided 
inclination to back into the coffee-room window. 

" Wo — o," echoed Mr. Tupman and Mr. Snodgrass, from the bin. 

" Only his playfulness, gen'lm'n," said the head hostler, encouragingly, 
" jist kitch hold on him, Villiam." The deputy restrained the animal's 
impetuosity, and the principal ran to assist Mr. Winkle in mounting, 

" T'other side. Sir, if you please." 

" Blowed if the gen'lm'n worn't a gettin' up on the wrong side," 
whispered a grinning post-boy, to the inexpressibly gratified waiter. 

Mr. Winkle, thus instructed, climbed into his saddle, with about as 
much diflficulty as he would have experienced in getting up the side of 
a first-rate man-of-war. 

" All right ? " inquired Mr. Pickwick, with an inward presentiment 
that it was all wrong. 

" All right,'' replied Mr. Winkle faintly. 

" Let 'em go," cried the hostler, — " Hold him in. Sir;" and away 
went the chaise, and the saddle horse, with Mr. Pickwick on the box 
of the one, and Mr. Winkle on the back of the other, to the delight 
and gratification of the whole inn yard. 

" What makes him go sideways ? " said Mr. Snodgrass in the bin, to 
Mr. Winkle in the saddle. 

" I can't imagine," replied Mr. Winkle. His horse was going up 
the street in the most mysterious manner — side first, with his head 
towards one side of the way, and his tail to the other. 

Mr. Pickwick had no leisure to observe either this, or any other par- 
ticular, the whole of his faculties being concentrated in the manage- 
ment of the animal attached to the chaise, who displayed various 
peculiarities, highly interesting to a by-stander, but by no means 
equally amusing to any one seated behind him. Besides constantly 
jerking his head up, in a very unpleasant and uncomfortable manner, 
and tugging at the reins to an extent which rendered it a matter of 
great difi&culty for Mr. Pickwick to hold them, he had a singular pro- 
pensity for darting suddenly every now and then to the side of the 
road, then stopping short, and then rushing forward for some minuies, 
at a speed which it was wholly impossible to control. 


" What can he mean by this?" said Mr. Snodgrass, when the horse 
had executed this manoeuvre for the twentieth time. 

" I don't know," replied IMr, Tupman ; " it looks very like shying, 
don't it ?'* Mr. Snodgrass was about to reply, when he was interrupted 
by a shout from Mr. Pickwick. 

" Woo," said that gentleman, " I have dropped my whip." 

" Winkle," cried Mr. Snodgrass, as the equestrian came trotting up 
on the tall horse, with his hat over his ears: and shaking all over, as if 
he would shake to pieces, with the violence of the exercise. " Pick up 
the whip, there's a good fellow." Mr. Winkle pulled at the bridle of 
the tall horse till he was black in the face ; and having at length suc- 
ceeded in stopping him, dismounted, handed the whip to Mr. Pickwick, 
and grasping the reins, prepared to remount. 

Now whether the tall horse, in the natural playfulness of his dispo- 
sition, was desirous of having a little innocent recreation with Mr. 
Winkle, or whether it occurred to him that he could perform the 
journey as much to his own satisfaction without a rider as with one, 
are points upon which, of course, we can arrive at no definite and distinct 
conclusion. By whatever motives the animal was actuated, certain it 
is that Mr. Winkle had no sooner touched the reins, than he slipped 
them over his head, and darted backwards to their full length. 

" Poor fellow," said Mr. Winkle, soothingly, — " poor fellow — good 
old horse." The "poor fellow" was proof against flattery: the more 
Mr. Winkle tried to get nearer him, the more he sidled away ; and, 
notwitlistanding all kinds of coaxing and wheedling, there were Mr. 
Winkle and the horse going round and round each other for ten minutes, 
at the end of which time each was at precisely the same distance from 
the other as when they first commenced — an unsatisfactory sort of 
thing under any circumstances, but particularly so in a lonely road, 
where no assistance can be procured. 

"What am I to do?" shouted Mr. Winkle, after the dodging had 
been prolonged for a considerable time. " What am I to do ? I can't 
get on him?" 

" Ypu had better lead him till we come to a turnpike," replied Mr. 
Pickwick from the chaise. 

" But he won't come," roared Mr. Winkle. " Do come, and hold 

Mr. Pickwick was the very personation of kindness and humanity : 
he threw the reins on the horse's back, and having descended from his 
seat, carefully drew the chaise into the hedge, lest anything should 
come along the road, and stepped back to the assistance of his dis- 
tressed companion, leaving Mr. Tupman and Mr. Snodgrass in the 

The horse no sooner beheld Mr. Pickwick advancing towards him, 
with the chaise whip in his hand, than he exchanged the rotary motion 
in which he had previously indulged, for a retrogade movement of so 
very determined a character, that it at once drew Mr. Winkle, who was 
still at the end of the bridle, at a rather quicker rate than fast walking, 
in the direction from which they had just come. Mr. Pickwick ran to 
his assistance, but the faster Mr. Pickwick ran forward, the faster th« 


horse ran backward. There was a great scraping of feet, and kicking 
up of the dust ; and at last Mr. Winkle, his arms being nearly pulled 
out of their sockets, fairly let go his hold. The horse paused, 
stared, shook his head, turned round, and quietly trotted home to 
Rochester, leaving Mr. Winkle and Mr, Pickwick gazing on each 
other with countenances of blank dismay. A rattling noise at a little 
distance attracted their attention. They looked up. 

" Bless my soul ! " exclaimed the agonized Mr. Pickwick, " there's 
the other horse running away ! " 

It was but too true. The animal was startled by the noise, and the 
reins were on his back. The result may be guessed. He tore off 
with the four-wheeled chaise behind him, and Mr. Tupman and Mr 
Snodgrass in the four-wheeled chaise. The heat was a short one. 
Mr. Tupman threw himself into the hedge, Mr. Snodgrass followed 
his example, the horse dashed the four-wheeled chaise against a 
wooden bridge, separated the wheels from the body, and the bin from 
the perch ; and finally stood stock still, to gaze upon the ruin he had 

The first care of the two unspilt friends was to extricate their unfor- 
tunate companions from their bed of quickset — a process which gave 
them the unspeakable satisfaction of discovering that they had sustained 
no injury, beyond sundry rents in their garments, and various lacera- 
tions from the brambles. The next thing to be done was, to unharness 
the horse. This complicated process having been effected, the party 
walked slowly forward, leading the horse among them, and abandoning" 
the chaise to its fate. 

An hour's walking brought the travellers to a little road-side public 
house, with two elm-trees, a horse trough, and a sign-post, in front; 
one or two deformed hay-ricks behind, a kitchen garden at the side, 
and rotten sheds and mouldering out-houses, jumbled in strange confu- 
sion, all about it. A red-headed man was working in the garden ; and 
to him Mr. Pickwick called lustily — " Hallo there I " 

The red-headed man raised his body, shaded his eyes with his hand, 
and stared, long and coolly, at Mr. Pickwick and his companions. 

" Hallo there I " repeated Mr, Pickwick. 

*' Hallo ! '* was the red-headed man's reply. 

<' How far is it to Dingley Dell ?" 

" Better er seven mile." 

" Is it a good road ? " 

" No, t'ant." Having uttered this brief reply, and apparently satis- 
fied himself with another scrutiny, the red-headed man resumed his 

u We want to put this horse up here," said Mr. Pickwick ; " I suppose 
we can, can't we?" 

" Want to put that ere horse up, do ee ? " repeated the red-headed 
man, leaning on his spade. 

" Of course," replied Mr. Pickwick, who had by this time advanced, 
horse in hand, to the garden rails. 

" Missus " — roared the man with the red head, emerging from the 
g;arden, and looking very hard at the hor?e— " Missus." 


A tall bony woman — straig^ht all the way down — in a coarse blue 
pelisse, with the waist an inch or two below her arno-pits, responded to 
the call. 

" Can we put this horse up here, my good woman ? " said Mr. Tup- 
man, advancing-, and speaking in his most seductive tones. The woman 
looked very hard at the whole party ; and the red-headed man whis- 
pered something in her ear. 

" No," replied the woman, after a little consideration, " I'm afeerd 
on it." 

" Afraid I" exclaimed Mr. Pickwick, " what's the woman afraid of!" 

" It got lis in trouble last time," said the woman, turning into the 
house; '* I woant have nothin' to say to *un." 

*' Most extraordinary thing I ever met with in my life," said the 
astonished Mr. Pickwick. 

** I — I — really believe," whispered Mr. Winkle, as his friends 
gathered round him, " that they think we have come by this horse in 
some dishonest manner." 

" What ! " exclaimed Mr. Pickwick, in a storm of indignation. Mr. 
Winkle modestly repeated his suggestion. 

" Hallo, you fellow !" said the angry Mr. Pickwick, ** do you think 
we stole this horse ? " 

" I'm sure ye did," replied the red-headed njan, with a grin which 
agitated his countenance from one auricular organ to the other. 
Saying which, he turned into the house, and banged the dcor after 

" It's like a dream," — ejaculated Mr. Pickwick, " a hideous dream. 
The idea of a man's walking about, all day, vvith a dreadful horse that 
he can't get rid of!" The depressed Pickwickians turned moodily 
away, with the tall quadruped, for which they all felt the most unmiti- 
gated disgust, following slowly at their heels. 

It was late in the afternoon, when the four friends and their four- 
footed companion, turned into the lane leading to Manor Farm : and 
even when they were so near their place of destination, the pleasure 
they would otherwise have experienced, was materially damped as they 
reflected on the bingularity of their appearance, and the absurdity of 
their situation. Torn clothes, lacerated faces, dusty shoes, exhausted 
looks, and, above all, the horse. Oh, how Mr. Pickwick cursed that 
horse : he had eyed the noble animal from time to time with looks 
expressive of hatred and revenge ; more than once he had calculated the 
probable amount of the expense he would incur by cutting his throat ; 
and now the temptation to destroy him, or to cast him loose upon the 
world, rushed upon his mind with ten-fold force. He was roused from 
a meditation on these dire imaginings, by the sudden appearance of 
two figures, at a turn of the lane. It was Mr. Wardle, and his 
faithful attendant, the fat boy. 

"Why, where hai^e you been?" said the hospitable old gentleman. 
" I've been waiting for you all day. Well, you do look tired. What! 
Scratches ! Not hurt, I hope — eh ? Well, I am glad to hear that — 
very. So you've been spilt, eh.^ Never mind. Common accident in 


these parts. Joe — damn that boy, he's asleep again — Joe take that 
horse from the gentleman, and lead it into the stable." 

The fat boy sauntered heavily behind them with the animal ; and 
the old gentleman condoling with his guests in homely phrase, on so 
much of the day's adventures as they thought proper to communicate, 
led the way to the kitchen. 

" We'll have you put to rights here," said the old gentleman, 
" and then I'll introduce you to the people in the parlour. Emma, 
bring out the cherry brandy ; now, Jane, a needle and thread here ; 
towels and water, Mary. Come, girls, bustle about." 

Three or four buxom girls speedily dispersed in search of the different 
articles in requisition, while a couple of large-headed, circular- visaged 
males rose from their seats in the chimney corner, (for although it was 
a May evening, their attachment to the wood fire appeared as cordial 
as if it were Christmas,) and dived into some obscure recesses, from 
which they speedily produced a bottle of blacking, and some half-dozen 

" Bustle," said the old gentleman again, but the admonition was quite 
unnecessary, for one of the girls poured out the cherry brandy, and 
another brought in the towels, and one of the men suddenly seizing Mr. 
Pickwick by the leg, at the imminent hazard of throwing him off his 
balance, brushed away at his boot, till his corns were red-hot ; while 
the other shampoo'd Mr Winkle with a heavy clothes brush, indulging, 
during the operation, in that hissing sound, which hostlers are wont to 
produce, when engaged in rubbing down a horse. 

Mr. Snodgrass, having concluded his ablutions, took a survey of the 
room, while standing with his back to the fire, sipping his cherry 
brandy with heartfelt satisfaction. He describes it, as a large apart- 
ment, with a red brick floor, and a capacious chimney ; the ceiling gar- 
nished with hams, sides of bacon, and ropes of onions. The walls were 
decorated with several hunting-whips, two or three bridles, a saddle, and 
an old rusty blunderbuss, with an inscription below it, intimating that 
it was " Loaded " — as it had been, on the same authority, for half a cen- 
tury at least. An old eight-day clock, of solemn and sedate demeanour, 
ticked gravely in one corner ; and a silver watch, of equal antiquity, 
dangled from one of the many hooks which ornamented the dresser. 

" Ready ? " said the old gentleman inquiringly, when his guests had 
been washed, mended, brushed, and brandied. 

*' Quite," replied Mr. Pickwick. 

" Come along then," and the party having traversed several dark 
passages, and being joined by Mr. 'i'upman, who had lingered behind 
to snatch a kiss from Emma, for which he had been duly rewarded 
with sundry pushings and scratchings arrived at the parlour door. 

" Welcome," said their hospitable host, throwing it open and stepping 
forward to announce them, "Welcome, gentlemen, to Manor Farm." 





Several guests who were assembled in the old parlour, rose to greet 
Mr. Pickwick and his friends upon their entrance ; and during the 
performance of the ceremony of introduction, with all due formalities, 
Mr. Pickwick had leisure to observe the appearance, and speculate upon 
the characters and pursuits, of the persons by whom ho was surrounded — 
a habit in which he in common with many other great men delighted 
to indulge. 

A very old lady, in a lofty cap and faded silk gown — no less a per- 
sonage than Mr. Wardle's mother — occupied the post of honour on the 
right-hand corner of the chimney-piece ; and various certificates of her 
having been brought up in the way she should go when young, and of 
her not having departed from it when old, ornamented the walls, in the 
form of samplers of ancient date, worsted landscapes of equal antiquity, and 
crimson silk tea-kettle holders of a more modern period. The aunt, the 
two young ladies, and Mr. Wardle, each vying with the other in paying 
zealous and unremitting attentions to the old lady, crowded round her 
easy chair, one holding her ear-trumpet, another an orange, and a third 
a smelling-bottle, while a fourth was busily engaged in patting and 
punching the pillows, which were arranged for her support. On the 
opposite side, sat a bald-headed old gentleman, with a good-humoured 
benevolent face — the clergyman of Dingley Dell ; and next him sat his 
wife, a stout blooming old lady, who looked as if she were well skilled^ 
not only in the art and mystery of manufacturing home-made cordials 
greatly to other people's satisfaction, but of tasting them occasionally 
very much to her own. A little hard-headed, Ripstone pippin-faced 
man, was conversing with a fat old gentleman in one corner; and two or 
three more old gentlemen, and two or three more old ladies, sat bolt- 
upright and motionless on their chairs, staring very hard at Mr. Pickwick 
and his fellow-voyagers. 

" Mr. Pickwick, mother," said Mr. Wardle, at the very top of his 

" Ah ! " said the old lady, shaking her head ; " I can't hear you." 

"Mr. Pickwick, grandma I" screamed both the young ladies toge- 

" Ah I " exclaimed the old lady. " Well ; it don't much matter. He 
don't care for an old 'ooman like me, I dare say." 

" I assure you. Ma'am," said Mr. Pickwick, grasping the old lady's 
band ; and speaking so loud that the exertion imparted a crimson hue 
to his benevolent countenance ; '* I assure you. Ma'am, that nothing 
dehghts me more, than to see a lady of your time of life heading so fine 
a family, and looking so young and well." 




" Ah ! " said the old lady, after a short pause ; " It 's all very fine, I 
dare say ; but I can't hear him." 

" Grandma 's rather put out now," said Miss Isabella Wardle, in a 
low tone ; " but she'll talk to you presently." 

Mr. Pickwick nodded his readiness to humour the infirmities of 
age, and entered into a general conversation with the other members 
of the circle. 

" Delightful situation this," said Mr. Pickwick. 

" Delightful I " echoed Messrs. Snodgrass, Tupraan, and Winkle. 

" Well, I think it is," said Mr. Wardle. 

*' There ain't a better spot o' ground in all Kent, Sir," said the hard- 
headed man with the pippin-face ; " there ain't indeed, Sir — I'm sure 
there ain't, Sir;" and the hard-headei man looked triumphantly round, 
as if he had been very much contradicted by somebody, but had got the 
better of him at last. 

" There ain't a better spot o' ground in all Kent," said the hard- 
headed man again, after a pause. 

" 'Cept MuUins' Meadows," observed the fat man, solemnly. 

" Mullins' Meadows I " ejaculated the other, with profound con- 

*' Ah, MuUins' Meadows," repeated the fat man. 

" Reg'lar good land that," interposed another fat man. 

*' And so it is, sure-ly," said a third fat man. 

" Everybody knows that," said the corpulent host. 

The hard-headed man looked dubiously round, but finding himself in 
a minority, assumed a compassionate air, and said no more. 

" What are they talking about ? " inquired the old lady of one of her 
grand- daughters, in a very audible voice ; for, like many deaf people, 
she never seemed to calculate on the possibility of other persons hearing 
what she said herself. 

" About the land, grandma." 

" What about the land ? — Nothing the matter, is there ? " 

" No, no. Mr. Miller was saying our land was better than Mullins* 

" How should he know anything about it ? " inquired the old lady 
indignantly. " Miller *s a conceited coxcomb, and you may tell him I 
said so." Saying which, the old lady, quite uncoiscious that she had 
spoken above a whisper, drew herself up, and loolied carving knives at 
the hard-headed delinquent. 

" Come, come," said the bustling host, with a natural anxiety to 
change the conversation, — "What say you to a rubber, Mr. Pick- 
wick ? " 

" I should like it of all things," replied that gentleman ; " but pray 
don't make up one on my account." 

" Oh, I assure you, mother's very fond of a rubber," said Mr. Wardle ; 
" ain't you mother?" 

The old lady, who was much less deaf on this subject than on any 
other, replied in the affirmative. 

" Joe, Joe," said the old gentleman — *' Joe — damn that — oh. here 
he is ; put out the card-tables." 


The lethargic youth contrived without any additional rousing, to set 
out two card-tables; tlie one for Pope Joan, and the other for whist. 
The whist-players were, Mr. Pickwick and the old lady ; Mr. Miller 
and the fat gentleman. The round game comprised the rest of the 

The rubber was conducted with all that gravity of deportment, and 
sedateness of demeanour, which befit the pursuit entitled "whist" — a 
solemn observance, to which, as it appears to us, the title of " game " 
has been very irreverently and ignominiously applied. The round-game 
table on the other hand, was so boisterously merry, as materially to 
interrupt the contemplations of Mr. Miller, who not being quite s 
much absorbed as he ought to have been, contrived to commit various 
high crimes and misdemeanours, which excited the wrath of the fat 
gentleman to a very great extent, and called forth the good-humour of 
the old lady in a proportionate degree. 

" There! " said the criminal Miller triumphantly, as he took up the 
odd trick at the conclusion of a hand ; " that could not have beei 
played better, I flatter myself; — impossible to have made another 

"Miller ought to have trumped the diamond, oughtn't he Sir?" 
said the old lady. 

Mr. Pickwick nodded assent. 

" Ought I, though ? " said the unfortunate, with a doubtful appeal to 
his partner. 

" You ought Sir/' said the fat gentleman in an awful voice. 

" Very sorry," said the crest-fallen Miller. 

*' Much use that," growled the fat gentleman. 

" Two by honours — makes us eight," said Mr. Pickwick. 

Another hand. " Can you one?" inquired the old lady. 

** I can," replied Mr. Pickwick. " Double, single, and the rub.** 

" Never was such luck," said Mr. Miller. 

" Never was such cards," said the fat gentleman. 

A solemn silence ; Mr. Pickwick humorous, the old lady serious, the 
fat gentleman captious, and Mr. Miller timorous. 

" Another double," said the old lady : triumphantly making a memo- 
randum of the circumstance, by placing one sixpence and a battered 
halfpenny, under the candlestick. 

" A double, Sir," said Mr. Pickwick. 

** Quite aware of the fact. Sir," replied the fat gentleman, sharply. 

Another game, with a similar result, was followed by a revoke from 
the unlucky Miller; on which the fat gentleman burst into a state of 
high personal excitement which lasted until the conclusion of the 
game, when he retired into a corner, and remained perfectly mute f«>r 
one hour and twenty-seven minutes; at the end of which time, he 
emerged from his retirement, and offered Mr. Pickwick a pinch of snuff 
with the air of a man who had made up his mind to a Christian forgive- 
ness of injuries sustained. The old lady's hearing decidedly improved, 
and the unlucky Miller felt as much out of his element, as a dolphin in 
a sentry-box. 

Meanwhile the round game proceeded right merr'i Isabella Wardle 

H 2 


and Mr. Trundle " went partners," and Emily Wardle and Mr. Snod- 
grass did the same ; and even Mr. Tupman and the spinster aunt, 
established a joint-stock company of fish and flattery. Old Mr. 
Wardle was in the very height of his jollity ; and he was so funny in 
his management of the board, and the old ladies were so sharp after their 
winnings, that the whole table was in a perpetual roar of merriment and 
laughter. There was one old lady who always had about half a dozen 
cards to pay for, at which everybody laughed, regularly every round ; 
and when the old lady looked cross at having to pay, they laughed 
louder than ever ; on which the old lady's face gradually brightened up, 
till at last she laughed louder than any of them. Then, when the 
spinster aunt got " matrimony," the young ladies laughed afresh, and 
the spinster aunt seemed disposed to be pettish ; till, feeling Mr. Tup- 
man squeezing her hand under the table, she brightened up too, and 
looked rather knowing as if matrimony in reality were not quite so far 
off as some people thought for ; whereupon everybody laughed again, 
and especially old Mr. Wardle, who enjoyed a joke as much as the 
youngest. As to Mr. Snodgrass, he did nothing but whisper poetical 
sentiments into his partner's ear, which made one old gentleman face- 
tiously sly, about partnerships at cards, and partnerships for life, and 
caused the aforesaid old gentleman to make some remarks thereupon, 
accompanied with divers winks and chuckles, which made the company 
very merry and the old gentleman's wife especially so. And Mr. Winkle 
came out with jokes which are very well known in town, but are 
not at all known in the country ; and as everybody laughed at them 
very heartily and said they were very capital, Mr. Winkle was in a 
state of great honour and glory. And the benevolent clergyman looked 
pleasantly on ; for the happy faces which surrounded the table made 
the good old man feel happy too ; and though the merriment was rather 
boisterous, still it came from the heart and not from the lips : and this 
is the right sort of merriment, after all. 

The evening glided swiftly away, in these cheerful recreations ; 
and when the substantial, though homely supper had been despatched, 
and the little party formed a social circle round the fire, Mr. 
Pickwick thought he had never felt so happy in his life, and at no 
time so much disposed to enjoy, and make the most of, the passing 

*' Now this," said the hospitable host, who was sitting in great state 
next the old lady's arm-chair, with her hand fast clasped in his — " This 
is just what I like — the happiest moments of my life have been passed 
at this old fire-side : and I am so attached to it, that I keep up a blazing 
fire here every evening, until it actually grows too hot to bear it. Why, 
my poor old mother, here, used to sit before this fire-place upon that 
little stool, when she was a girl — didn't you, mother?" 

The tear which starts unbidden to the eye when the recollection of 
old times and the happiness of many years ago, is suddenly recalled, 
stole down the old lady's face, as she shook her head with a melancholy 

" You must excuse my talking about this old place, Mr. Pickwick,** 
resumed the host, after a short pause — " for I love it dearly, and know 



no other — the old houses and fields seem like living friends to me : and 
BO does our little church with the ivy, — about which, by-the-by, our 
excellent friend there, made a song when he first came amongst us. 
Mr. Snodgrass, have you anything in your glass?" 

** Plenty, thank you," replied that gentleman, whose poetic curiosity 
had been greatly excited by the last observations of his enter- 
tainer. ** 1 beg your pardon, but you were talking about the song of 
the Ivy." 

" You must ask our friend opposite about that," said the host know- 
ingly : indicating the clergyman by a nod of his head. 

"May I say that I should like to hear you repeat it, Sir?" said Mr, 

" Why really," replied the clergyman, " it 's a very slight affair ; and 
the only excuse I have for having ever perpetrated it, is, that I was a 
young man at the time. Such as it is, however, you shall hear it if 
you wish." 

A murmur of curiosity was of course the reply ; and the old gentle- 
man proceeded to recite, with the aid of sundry promptings from his 
wife, the lines in question. " I call them," said he, 

Oh, a dainty plant is the Ivy green. 

That creepeth o'er ruins old ! 

Of right choice food are his meals, I ween, 

In his cell so lone and cold. 

The wall must be crumbled, the stone decayed, 

To pleasure his dainty whim : 

And the mouldering dust that years have made, 

Is a merry meal for him. 

Creeping where no life is seen, 
A rare old plant is the Ivy green. 

Fast he stealeth on, though he woars no wings, 

And a staunch old heart has he. 

How closely he twineth, how tight he clings, 

To his friend the huge Oak Tree ! 

And slily he trailcth along the ground, 

And his leaves he gently waves, 

As he joyously hugs and crawleth round 

The rich mould of dead men's graves. 

Creeping where grim death has been, 
A rare old plant is the Ivy gieen. 

Whole ages have fled and their works decayed, 

And nations have scattered been ; 

But the stout old Ivy shall never fade, 

From its hale and hearty green. 

The brave old plant in its lonely days, 

Shall fatten upon the past : 

For the stateliest building man can raise. 

Is the Ivy's food at last. 

Creeping on, where time has been, 
A rare old plant is the Ivy green. 


While the old gentleman repeated these lines a second time, to enable 
Mr, Snodgrass to note them down, Mr. Pickwick perused the linea- 
ments of his face with an expression of great interest. The old gentle- 
man having concluded his dictation, and Mr. Snodgrass having returned 
his note-book to his pocket, Mr. Pickwick said, — 

<* Excuse me, Sir, for making the remark on so short an acquaint- 
ance ; but a gentleman like yourself cannot fail, I should think, to have 
observed many scenes and incidents worth recording, in the course of 
your experience as a minister of the Gospel." 

" I have witnessed some certainly," replied the old gentleman ; " but 
the incidents and characters have been of a homely and ordinary nature, 
my sphere of action being so very limited." 

" You did make some notes, I think, about John Edmunds, did you 
not? " inquired Mr. Wardle who appeared very desirous to draw his 
friend out, for the edification of his new visiters. 

The old gentleman slightly nodded his head in token of assent, and 
was proceeding to change the subject, when Mr. Pickwick said, — 

" I beg your pardon, Sir ; but pray, if I may venture to inquire, who 
was John Edmunds ? " 

'* The very thing I was about to ask," said Mr. Snodgrass, eagerly. 
*' You are fairly in for it," said the jolly host. " You must satisfy 
the curiosity of these gentlemen, sooner or later; so you had better 
take advantage of this favourable opportunity, and do so at once." 

The old gentleman smiled good-humouredly as he drew his chair 
forward ; — the remainder of the party drew their chairs closer together, 
especially Mr. Tupman and the spinster aunt, who were possibly rather 
hard of hearing ; and the old lady's ear-trumpet having been duly 
adjusted, and Mr. Miller (who had fallen asleep during the recital 
of the verses) roused from his slumbers by an admonitory pinch, 
administered beneath the table by his ex-partner the solemn fat man, 
the old gentleman, without further preface, commenced the following 
tale, to which we have taken the liberty of prefixing the title of 


" When I first settled in this village," said the old gentleman. 
" which is now just five-and-twenty years ago, the most notorious 
person among my parishioners was a man of the name of Edmunds, 
who leased a small farm near this spot. He was a morose, savage- 
hearted, bad man : idle and dissolute in his habits ; cruel and ferocious 
in his disposition. Beyond the few lazy and reckless vagabonds with 
whom he sauntered away his time in the fields, or sotted in the ale- 
house, he had not a single friend or acquaintance ; no one cared to 
speak to the man whom many feared, and every one detested — and 
Edmunds was shunned by all. 

" This man had a wife and one son, who, when I first came here, was 
about twelve years old. Of the acuteness of that woman's sufferings, 
of the gentle and enduring manner in which she bore them, of the 
agony of solicitude with which she reared that boy, no one can form an 
adequate conception. Heaven forgive me the supposition, if it be an 
uncharitable one, but I do firmly and in my soul believe, that the man 
systematically tried for many years to break her heart ; but she bore it all 





' fo?1ier child's sake, and, however strange it may seem to many, for his 
father's too ; for brute as he was and cruelly as he treated her, she had 
loved him once ; and the recollection of what he had been to her, 
awakened feelings of forbearance and meekness under suffering in her 
bosom, to which all God's creatures, but women, are strangers. 

" They were poor — they could not be otherwise when the man pur- 
sued such courses; but the woman's unceasing and unwearied exertions, 
early and late, morning, noon, and night, kept them above actual 
want. Those exertions were but ill repaid. People who passed the 
spot in the evening — sometimes at a late hour of the night — reported 
that they had heard the moans and sobs of a woman in distress, and the 
sound of blows : and more than once, when it was past midnight, the boy 
knocked softly at the door of a neighbour's house, whither he had been 
sent, to escape the drunken fury of his unnatural father. 

" During the whole of this time, and when the poor creature often 
bore about her marks of ill-usage and violence which she could not 
wholly conceal, she was a constant attendant at our little church. 
Regularly every Sunday, morning and afternoon, she occupied the same 
seat with the boy at her side ; and though they were both poorly 
dressed — much more so than many of their neighbours who were in a 
lower station — they were always neat and clean. Every one had a 
friendly nod and a kind word for * poor Mrs. Edmunds ;' and sometimes, 
when she stopped to exchange a few words with a neighbour at the con- 
clusion of the service in the little row of elm trees which leads to the 
church porch, or lingered behind to gaze with a mother's pride and 
fondness upon her healthy boy, as he sported before her with some 
little companions, her care-worn face would lighten up with an expres- 
sion of heartfelt gratitude ; and she would look, if not cheerful and 
hanpy, at least tranquil and contented. 

* Five or six years passed away ; the boy had become a robust and 
well-grown youth. The time that had strengthened the child's slight 
frame and knit his weak limbs into the strength of manhood, had 
bowed his mother's form, and enfeebled her steps ; but the arm that 
should have supported her was no longer locked in hers ; the face that 
should have cheered her, no more looked upon her own. She occupied 
her old seat, but there was a vacant one beside her. The Bible was 
kept as carefully as ever, the places were found and folded down as 
they used to be : but there was no one to read it with her ; and the 
tears fell thick and fast upon the book, and blotted the words from her 
eyes. Neighbours were as kind as they were wont to be of old, but she 
shunned their greetings with averted head. There was no lingering 
among the old elm trees now — no cheering anticipations of happiness 
yet in store. The desolate woman drew her bonnet closer over her 
face, and walked hurriedly away. 

" Shall I tell you, that the young man, who, looking back to the 
earliest of his childhood's days to which memory and consciousness 
extended, and carrying his recollection down to that moment, could 
remember nothing which was not in some way connected with a long 
series of voluntary privations suffered by his mother for his sake, with 
ill-usage, and insult, and violence, and all endured for him ; — shall I 
tell you, that he, with a reckless disregard of her breaking heart, and 

58 POSTHUMOUS papers of 

a sullen wilful forgetfulness of all she had done and borne for him, 
had linked himself with depraved and abandoned men, and was madly 
pursuing- a headlong- career, which must bring death to him, and 
shame to her ? Alas for human nature ! You have anticipated it 
long since. 

" The measure of the unhappy woman's misery and misfortune was 
about to be completed. Numerous offences had been committed in the 
neighbourhood ; the perpetrators remained undiscovered, and their 
boldness increased. A robbery of a daring and aggravated nature occa- 
sioned a vigilance of pursuit, and a strictness of search, they had not 
calculated on. Young Edmunds was suspected with three companions. 
He was apprehended — committed — tried — condemned — to die. 

" The wild and piercing shriek from a woman's voice, which re- 
sounded through the court when the solemn sentence was pronounced, 
rings in my ears at this moment. That cry struck a terror to the cul- 
prit's heart, which trial, condemnation — the approach of death itself, 
had failed to awaken. The lips which had been compressed in dogged 
sullenness throughout, quivered and parted involuntarily ; the face 
turned ashy pale as the cold perspiration broke forth from every 
pore ; the sturdy limbs of the felon trembled, and he staggered in 
the dock. 

'' In the first transports of her mental anguish, the suffering mother 
threw herself upon her knees at my feet, and fervently besought the 
Almighty Being who had hitherto supported her in all her troubles, to 
release her from a world of woe and misery, and to spare the life of her 
only child. A burst of grief, and a violent struggle, such as I hope I 
may never have to witness again, succeeded. I knew that her heart 
was breaking from that hour; but I never once heard complaint or 
murmur escape her lips. 

" It was a piteous spectacle to see that woman in the prison yard 
from day to day, eagerly and fervently attempting, by affection and 
entreaty, to soften the hard 'heart of her obdurate son. It was in vain. 
He remained moody, obstinate, and unmoved. Not even the unlooked- 
for commutation of his sentence to transportation for fourteen years, 
softened for an instant the sullen hardihood of his demeanour. 

" But the spirit of resignation and endurance that had so long upheld 
her, was unable to contend against bodily weakness and infirmity. She 
fell sick. She dragged her tottering limbs from the bed to visit her 
son once more, but her strength failed her, and she sunk powerless on 
the ground. 

" And now the boasted coldness and indifference of the young man 
were tested indeed ; and the retribution that fell heavily upon him, nearly 
drove him mad. A day passed away and his mother was not there ; an- 
other flew by, and she came not near him : a third evening arrived, and yet 
he had not seen her ; and in four-and-twenty hours, he was to be sepa- 
rated from her — perhaps for ever. Oh ! how the long-forgotten thoughts 
of former days rushed upon his mind, as he almost ran up and down the 
narrow yard — as if intelligence would arrive the sooner for Aw hurrying 
— and how bitterly a sense of his helplessness and desolation rushed upon 
him, when he heard the truth I His mother, the only parent he had 
ever known, lay ill — it might be, dying — within one mile of the ground 


he stood on ; were he free and unfettered, a few minutes would place 
him by her side. He rushed to the gate, and, grasping the iron rails 
with the energy of desperation, shook it till it rang again, and threw 
himself against the thick wall as if to force a passage through the 
stone ; but the strong building mocked his feeble efforts, and he beat 
his hands together and wept like a child. 

" I bore the mother's forgiveness and blessing to her son in prison ; 
and I carried his solemn assurance of repentance, and his fervent sup- 
plication for pardon, to her sick bed. I heard with pity and compas- 
sion, the repentant man devise a thousand little plans for her comfort 
and support, when he returned ; but I knew that many months before 
he could reach his place of destination, his mother would be no longer 
of this world. 

" He was removed by night. A few weeks afterwards the poor 
woman's soul took its flight I confidently hope, and solemnly believe, 
to a place of eternal happiness and rest. I performed the burial service 
over her remains. She lies in our little churchyard. There is no 
stone at her grave's head. Her sorrows were known to man ; her 
virtues to God. 

" It had been arranged previously to the convict's departure, that he 
should write to his mother so soon as he could obtain permission, and 
that the letter should be addressed to me. The father had positively 
refused to see his son from the moment of his apprehension ; and it 
was a matter of indifference to him whether he lived or died. Many 
years passed over without any intelligence of him ; and when more than 
half his term of transportation had expired and I had received no letter, 
I concluded him to be dead, as, indeed, I almost hoped he might be. 

** Edmunds, however, had been sent a considerable distance up the 
country on his arrival at the settlement ; and to this circumstance, 
perhaps, may be attributed the fact, that though several letters were 
despatched none of them ever reached my hands. He remained in the 
same place during the whole fourteen years. At the expiration of the 
term steadily adhering to his old resolution, and the pledge he gave 
his mother, he made his way back to England amidst innumerable 
difficulties, and returned, on foot, to his native place. 

" On a fine Sunday evening, in the month of August, John Edmunds 
set foot in the village he had left with shame and disgrace seventeen 
years before. His nearest way lay through the churchyard. The 
man's heart swelled as he crossed the stile. The tall old elms, through 
whose branches the declining sun cast here and there a rich ray of 
light upon the shady path, awakened the associations of his earliest 
days. He pictured himself as he was then, clinging to his mother's 
hand, and walking peacefully to church. He remembered how he used 
to look up into her pale face ; and how her eyes would sometimes fill 
with tears as she gazed upon his features — tears which fell hot upon 
his forehead as she stooped to kiss him, and made him weep too, 
although he little knew then what bitter tears hers were. He thought 
how often he had run merrily down that path with some childish play 
fellow, looking back ever and again, to catch his mother's smile, o^ 
hear her gentle voice ; and then a veil seemed lifted from his memory. 


aiid words of kindness unrequited, and warnings despised, and promises 
broken, thronged upon his recollection till his heart failed him, and he 
could bear it no longer. 

" He entered the church. The evening service was concluded and 
the congregation had dispersed, but it was not yet closed. His steps 
echoed through the low building with a hollow sound, and he almost 
feared to be alone, it was so still and quiet. He looked round him. 
Nothing was changed. The place seemed smaller than it used to be ; 
but there were the old monuments on which he had gazed with childish 
awe a thousand times ; the little pulpit with its faded cushion ; the 
Communion table before which he had so often repeated the Com- 
mandments he had reverenced as a child, and forgotten as a man. He 
approached the old seat ; it looked cold and desolate. The cushion had 
been removed, and the Bible was not there. Perhaps his mother now 
occupied a poorer seat, or possibly she had grown infirm and could not 
reach the church alone. He dared not think of what he feared. A cold 
feeling crept over him, and he trembled violently, as he turned away. 

" An old man entered the porch just as he reached it. Edmunds 
started back for he knew him well ; many a time had he watched him 
digging graves in the churchyard. What would he say to the returned 
convict ? The old man raised his eyes to the stranger's face, bid him 
*good evening,' and walked slowly on. He had forgotten him. 

*' He walked down the hill, and through the village. The weather 
was warm, and the people were sitting at their doors, or strolling in 
their little gardens as he passed, enjoying the serenity of the evening, 
and their rest from labour. Many a look was turned towards him, and 
many a doubtful glance he cast on either side to see whether any knew 
and shunned him. There were strange faces in almost every house ; 
in some he recognised the burly form of some old schoolfellow — a 
boy when he last saw him — surrounded by a troop of merry chil- 
dren ; in others he saw, seated in an easy-chair at the cottage door a 
feeble and infirm old man, whom he only remembered as a hale and 
hearty labourer ; but they had all forgotten him, and he passed on 

" The last soft light of the setting sun had fallen on the earth, casting 
a rich glow on the yellow corn sheaves, and lengthening the shadows of 
the orchard trees, as he stood before the old house — the home of his in- 
fancy, to which his heart had yearned with an intensity of affection not 
to be described, through long and weary years of captivity and sorrow. 
The paling was low — though he well remembered the time, when it had 
seemed a high wall to him ; and he looked over into the old garden. 
There were more seeds and gayer flowers than there used to be, but 
there were the old trees still — the very tree, under which he had lain a 
thousand times when tired with playing in the sun, and felt the soft 
mild sleep of happy boyhood steal gently upon him. There were voices 
within the house. He listened but they fell strangely upon his ear ; he 
knew them not. They were merry too ; and he well knew that his poor 
old mother could not be cheerful, and he away. The door opened, and 
a group of little children bounded out, shouting and romping. The 
father with a little boy in his arras, appeared at the door, and they 


crowded round him, clapping their tiny hands, and dragging him out, 
to join their joyous sports. The convict thought on the many times he 
had shrunk from his father's sight in that very place. He remembered 
how often he had buried his trembling head beneath the bed-clothes, and 
heard the harsh word, and the hard stripe, and his mother's wailing; and 
though the man sobbed aloud with agony of mind as he left the spot, 
his fist was clenched, and his teeth were set, in fierce and deadly passion. 
" And such was the return to which he had looked through the 
weary perspective of many years, and for which he had undergone so 
much suffering I No face of welcome, no look of forgiveness, no house 
to receive, no hand to help him — and this too in the old village. What 
was his loneliness in the wild thick woods where man was never seen, 
to this! 

*' He felt that in the distant land of his bondage and infamy, he had 
thought of his native place as it was when he left it ; — not as it would 
be, when he returned. The sad reality struck coldly at his heart, and 
his spirit sank within him. He had not courage to make inquiries, or 
to present himself to the only person who was likely to receive him 
with kindness and compassion. He walked slowly on ; and shunning 
the road-side like a guilty man, turned into a meadow he well remem- 
bered ; and covering his face with his hands, threw himself upon the grass. 
" He had not observed that a man was lying on the bank beside 
\im ; his garments rustled as he turned round to steal a look at the 
•lew comer: and Edmunds raised his head. 

" The man had moved into a sitting posture. His body was much 
bent, and his face was wrinkled and yellow. His dress denoted him 
an inmate of the workhouse : he had the appearance of being 
very old, but it looked more the effect of dissipation or disease, than 
length of years. He was staring hard at the stranger, and though his 
eyes were lustreless and heavy at first, they appeared to glow with an 
unnatural and alarmed expression after they had been fixed upon him 
for a short time, until they seemed to be starting from their sockets. 
Edmunds gradually raised himself to his kneiis, and looked more and 
more earnestly upon the old man's face. They gazed upon each other 
in silence. 

*' The old man was ghastly pale. He shuddered and tottered to his 
feet. Edmunds sprang to his. He stepped back a pace or two. Ed- 
munds advanced. 

" * Let me hear you speak,' said the convict in a thick broken voice. 
*• * Stand off,' cried the old man, with a dreadful oath. The convict 
drew closer to him. 

*' ' Stand off,' shrieked the old man. Furious with terror he raised 
his stick, and struck Edmunds a heavy blow across the face. 

" * Father — devil,' murmured the convict, between his set teeth. He 
rushed wildly foward, and clenched the old man by the throat — but he 
was his father ; and his arm fell powerless by his side. 

'* The old man uttered a loud yell which rang through the lonely 
fields like the howl of an evil spirit. His face turned black : the gore 
rushed from his mouth and nose, and dyed the grass a deep dark red, as 
he staggered and fell. He had ruptured a blood vessel : and he was a 


dead man before his son could raise him from that thick, sluggish, 


* . * * * * * 

" In that corner of the churchyard," said the old gentleman, after a 
silence of a few moments, " In that corner of the churchyard of which 
I have before spoken, there lies buried a man, who was in my employ- 
ment for three years after this event : and who was truly contrite, 
penitent, and humbled, if ever man was. No one save myself knew 
in that man's life-time who he was, or whence he came : — it was John 
Edmunds the returned convict." 



The fatiguing adventures of the day or the somniferous influence of 
the clergyman's tale, operated so strongly on the drowsy tendencies of 
Mr. Pickwick, that, in less than five minutes after he had been shown 
to his comfortable bed-room, he fell into a sound and dreamless sleep, 
from which he was only awakened by the morning sun darting his 
bright beams reproachfully into the apartment. Mr. Pickwick was no 
sluggard ; and he sprang like an ardent warrior from his tent — bedstead. 

*' Pleasant, pleasant country," sighed the enthusiastic gentleman, as 
he opened his lattice window. " Who could live to gaze from day to 
day on bricks and slates, who had once felt the influence of a scene like 
this ? Who could continue to exist, where there are no cows but the 
cows on the chimney-pots ; nothing redolent of Pan but pan-tiles ; no 
crop but stone crop ? Who could bear to drag out a life in such a 
spot ? Who I ask could endure it ? " and, having cross-examined 
solitude after the most approved precedents, at considerable length, 
Mr. Pickwick thrust his head out of the lattice, and looked around him. 

The rich, sweet smell of the hay -ricks rose to his chamber window; 
the hundred perfumes of the little flower-garden beneath scented the 
air around ; the deep-green meadows shone in the morning dew that 
glistened on every leaf as it trembled in the gentle air ; and the birds 
sang as if every sparkling drop were to them a fountain of inspiration. 
Mr. Pickwick fell into an enchanting, and delicious reverie. 

" Hallo I " was the sound that roused him. 

He looked to the right but he saw nobody; his eyes wandered to the 
left, and pierced the prospect ; he stared into the sky, but he wasn't 
wanted there ; and then he did what a common mind would have done 
at once — looked into the garden, and there saw Mr. Wardle. 

" How are you ?" said that good-humoured individual, out of breath 
with his own anticipations of pleasure. " Beautiful morning, ain't it? 



Glad to see you up so early. Make haste down, and come out. I'll 
wait for you here." 

Mr. Pickwick needed no second invitation. Ten minutes suffice<l 
for the completion of his toilet, and Ht the expiration of that time he 
was by the old gentleman's side. 

" Hallo!" said Mr. Pickwick in his turn: seeing^ that his companion 
was armed with a gun, and that another lay ready on the grass. 
" What's going forward ? " 

" Why, your friend and I," replied the host, " are going out rook- 
shooting before breakfast. He 's a very good shot ain't he? " 

" I've heard him say he 'a a capital one," replied Mr. Pickwick ; 
" but I never saw him aim at anything." 

" Well," said the host, " I wish he'd come. Joe — Joe." 

The fat boy, who under the exciting influence of the morning did 
not appear to be more than three parts and a fraction asleep, emerged 
from the house. 

** Go up, and call the gentleman, and tell him he '11 find me and 
Mr. Pickwick in the rookery. Show the gentleman the way there ; 
d'ye hear? " 

The boy departed to execute his commission ; and the host, carrying 
both guns like a second Robinson Crusoe, led the way from the 

" This is the place," said the old gentleman, pausing after a few 
minutes walking, in an avenue of trees. The information was unneces- 
sary ; for the incessant cawing of the unconscious rooks, sufficiently 
indicated their whereabout. 

The old gentleman laid one gun on the ground, and loaded the 

** Here they are," said Mr. Pickwick ; and as he spoke, the forms of 
Mr. Tupman, Mr. Snodgrass, and Mr. Winkle appeared in the distance. 
The fat boy, not being quite certain which gentleman he was directed 
to call, had with peculiar sagacity, and to prevent the possibility of any 
mistake, called them all. 

" Come along," shouted the old gentlemen, addressing Mr. Winkle ; 
" a keen hand like you ought to have been up long ago, even to such 
poor work as this." 

Mr. Winkle responded with a forced smile, and took up the spare 
gun with an expression of countenance which a metaphysical rook, 
impressed with a foreboding of his approaching death by violence, may 
be supposed to assume. It might have been keenness, but it looked 
remarkably like misery. 

The old gentleman nodded ; and two ragged boys who had been 
marshalled to the spot under the direction of the infant Lambert, 
forthwith commenced climbing up two of the trees. 

"What are those lads for?" inquired Mr. Pickwick abruptly. He 
was rather alarmed ; for he was not quite certain but that the distress 
of the agricultural interest, about which he had often heard a great deal, 
might have compelled the small boys, atttiehed to the soil, to earn a pre- 
carious and hazardous subsistence by making marks of themselves for 
inexperienced sportsmen. 


" Only to start the game," replied Mr. Wardie, laughing. 

" To what ? " inquired Mr. Pickwick. 

" Why, in plain English to frighten the rooks." 

«0h! Is that all?" 

*' You are satisfied ? " 

" Quite." 

" Very well. Shall I begin ? " 

" If you please," said Mr. Winkle, glad of any respite. 

" Stand aside, then. Now for it." 

The boy shouted, and shook a branch with a nest on it. Half a 
dozen young rooks in violent conversation, flew out to ask what the 
matter was. The old gentleman fired by way of reply. Down fell 
one bird, and off flew the others. 

" Take him up, Joe," said the old gentleman. 

There was a smile upon the youth's face as he advanced. Indistinct 
visions of rook-pie floated through his imagination. He laughed as he 
retired with the bird — it was a plump one. 

" Now, Mr. Winkle," said the host, reloading his own gun. " Fire 

Mr. Winkle advanced, and levelled his gun. Mr. Pickwick and his 
friends cowered involuntarily to escape damage from the heavy fall of 
rooks, which they felt quite certain would be occasioned by the devastat- 
ing barrel of their friend. There was a solemn pause — a shout — a 
flapping of wings — a faint click. 

" Hallo I " said the old gentleman. 

" Won't it go ? " inquired Mr. Pickwick. 

" Missed fire," said Mr. Winkle, who was very pale, probably from 

" Odd," said the old gentleman, taking the gun. " Never knew one 
of them miss fire before. Why, I don't see anything of the cap." 

" Bless my soul," said Mr. Winkle. " I declare I forgot the 
cap I" 

The slight omission was rectified. Mr. Pickwick crouched again. 
Mr. Winkle stepped forward with an air of determination and resolu- 
tion ; and Mr. Tupman looked out from behind a tree. The boy 
shouted ; — four birds flew out. Mr. Winkle fired. There was a scream 
as of an individual — not a rook — in corporeal anguish. Mr. Tupman 
had saved the lives of innumerable unofi'ending birds, by receiving a 
portion of the charge in his left arm. 

To describe the confusion that ensued would be impossible. To tell 
how Mr. Pickwick in the first transports of his emotion called Mr. 
Winkle " Wretch I " how Mr. Tupman lay prostrate on the ground ; 
and how Mr. Winkle knelt horror-stricken beside him; how Mr. Tup- 
man called distractedly upon some feminine Christian name, and then 
opened first one eye, and then the other, and then fell back and shut 
them both ; — all this would be as difficult to describe in detail, as it would 
be to depict the gradual recovering of the unfortunate individual, the 
binding up his arm with pocket-handkerchiefs, and the conveying him 
back by slow degrees supported by the arms of his anxious friends. 

They drew near the house. The ladies were at the garden-gate, 


wahiu^ \jt their arrival oiul their hreakfust. The spinster aunt 
appeared ; she smiled, and beckoned them to walk quicker. 'Twas 
evident she knew not of the disaster. Poor thing! There are times 
when ignorance is bliss indeed. 

They approached nearer. 

" Why, what i.f the matter with the little old gentleman ? " said 
Isabella Wardle. The spinster aunt heeded not the remark ; she 
thought it applied to Mr. Pickwick. In her eyes Tracy Tupman was 
a youth ; she viewed his years through a diminishing glass. 

" Don't be fri^'^htened," called out the old host fearful of alarming 
his daughters. The little party had crowded so completely round Mr. 
Tupman, that they could not yet clearly discern the nature of the 

" Don't be frightened," said the host. 

" What's the matter? " screamed the ladies. 

" Mr. Tupman has met with a little accident ; that 's all." 

The spinster aunt uttered a piercing scream, burst into an hysteric 
laugh, and fell backwards in the arms of her nieces. 

" Throw some cold water over her," said the old gentleman. 

" No, no," murmured the spinster aunt ; " I am better now. Bella, 

Emily — a surgeon ! Is he wounded? — Is he dead ? — Is he ha, ha, 

ha!" Here the spinster aunt burst into fit number two, of hysteric 
laughter, interspersed with screams. 

" Calm yourself," said Mr. Tupman, affected almost to tears by this 
expression of sympathy with his sufferings. *' Dear, dear Madam, calm 

" It is his voice !" exclaimed the spinster aunt ; and strong symptoms 
of fit number three developed themselves forthwith. 

" Do not agitate yourself I entreat you, dearest Madam," said Mr. 
Tupman, soothingly. " I am very little hurt, I assure you." 

" Then you are not dead I" ejaculated the hysterical lady. " Oh, say 
you are not dead ! " 

" Don't be a fool, Rachael," interposed Mr. W^ardle, rather more 
roughly than was quite consistent with the poetic nature of the scene. 
" What the devil 's the use of his saying he isn't dead ?" 

*' No, no, I am not," said Mr. Tupman. " I require no assistance 
but yours. Let me lean on your arm," he added, in a whisper, 
" Oh Miss Rachael ! " The agitated female advanced, and offered her 
arm. They turned into the breakfast parlour. Mr. Tracy Tupman 
gently pressed her hand to his lips, and sank upon the sofa. 

" Are you faint? " inquired the anxious Rachael. 

** No," said Mr. Tupman. " It is nothing. I shall be better pre- 
sently." He closed his eyes. 

'* He sleeps," murmured the spinster aunt. (His organs of vision 
had been closed nearly twenty seconds). "Dear-^dear — Mr. Tup- 

Mr. Tupman jumped up — ** Oh, say those words again ! " he ex- 

The lady started. " Surely you did not hear them I " she said, 


" Oh yes I did ! *' replied Mr. Tupman ; " repeat them. If you would 
have me recover, repeat them." 

" Hush I " said the Lady. " My brother." 

Mr. Tracy Tupman resumed his former position ; and Mr. Wardle 
accompanied by a surgeon, entered the room. 

The arm was examined, the wound dressed, and pronounced to be a 
very slight one; and the minds of the company having been thus satis- 
fied, they proceeded to satisfy their appetites with countenances to 
which an expression of cheerfulness was again restored. Mr. Pickwick 
alone was silent and reserved. Doubt and distrust were exhibited in 
his countenance. His confidence in Mr. Winkle had been shaken — 
greatly shaken — by the proceedings of the morning. 

" Are you a cricketer?" inquired Mr. Wardle of the marksman. 

At any other time, Mr. Winkle would have replied in the affirmative. 
He felt the delicacy of his situation, and modestly replied, " No." 

" Are you, Sir ? " inquired Mr. Snodgrass. 

** I was once upon a time," replied the host ; " but I have given it 
up now. I subscribe to the club here, but I don't play." 

** The grand match is played to-day, I believe," said Mr. Pickwick. 

" It is," replied the host. " Of course you would like to see it." 

" I, Sir," replied Mr. Pickwick, " am delighted to view any sports 
which may be safely indulged in, and in which the impotent effects of 
unskilful people do not endanger human life." Mr. Pickwick paused, 
and looked steadily on Mr. Winkle, who quailed beneath his leader's 
searching glance. The great man withdrew his eyes after a few minutes, 
and added : " Shall we be justified in leaving our wounded friend to the 
care of the ladies ? " 

" You cannot leave me in better hands," said Mr. Tupman. 

" Quite impossible," said Mr. Snodgrass. 

It was therefore settled that Mr. Tupman should be left at home 
in charge of the females ; and that the remainder of the guests under 
the guidance of Mr. Wardle should proceed to the spot, where was to 
be held that trial of skill, which had roused all Muggleton from its 
torpor, and innoculated Dingley Dell with a fever of excitement. 

As their walk which was not above two miles long, lay through 
shady lanes, and sequestered footpaths ; and as their conversation turned 
upon the delightful scenery by which they were on every side sur- 
rounded, Mr. Pickwick was almost inclined to regret the expedition 
they had used, when he found himself in the main street of the town 
of Muggleton. 

Everybody whose genius has a topographical bent, knows perfectly 
well, that Muggleton is a corporate town, with a mayor, burgesses, and 
freemen ; and anybody who has consulted the addresses of the mayor 
to the freemen, or the freemen to the mayor, or both to the corpora- 
tion, or all three to Parliament, will learn from thence what they ought 
to have known before, that Muggleton is an ancient and loyal borough, 
mingling a zealous advocacy of Christian principles with a devoted 
attachment to commercial rights ; in demonstration whereof, the mayor, 
corporation, and other inhabitants, have presented at divers times, no 
fewer than one thousand four hundred and twenty petitions, against the 


continuance of negro slavery abroad, and on equal number against any 
interference with the factory system at home; sixty-eight for permit- 
ting the sale of benefices in the church, and eighty-six for abohshing 
Sunday trading in the streets. 

Mr. Pickwick stood in the principal street of this illustrious town, 
and gazed with an air of curiosity not unmixed with interest, on the 
objects around him. There was an open square for the market-place ; 
and in the centre of it, a large inn with a sign-post in front, displaying 
an object very common in art, but rarely met with in nature — to wit, 
a blue lion with three bow legs in the air, balancing himself on the 
extreme point of the centre claw of his fourth foot. There were, 
within sight, an auctioneer's and fire-agency office, a corn-factor's, a 
linen draper's, a saddler's, a distiller's, a grocer's, and a shoe shop — the 
last-mentioned warehouse being also appropriated to the diffusion of hats, 
bonnets, wearing apparel, cotton umbrellas, and useful knowledge. 
There was a red-brick house with a small paved court-yard in front, 
which anybody might have known belonged to the attorney : and there 
was, moreover, another red-brick house with Venetian blinds, and a 
large brass door-plate, with a very legible announcement that it be- 
longed to the surgeon. A few boys were making their way to the 
cricket-field ; and two or three shopkeepers who were standing at their 
doors, looked as if they should like to be making their way to the same 
spot, as indeed to all appearance they might have done, without losing 
any great amount of custom thereby. Mr. Pickwick having paused 
to make these observations, to be noted down at a more convenient 
period, hastened to rejoin his friends, who had turned out of the main 
street, and were already within sight of the field of battle. 

The wickets were pitched, and so were a couple of marquees for the 
rest and refreshment of the contending parties. The game had not yet 
commenced. Two or three Dingley Dellers, and All-Muggletonians, 
were amusing themselves with a majestic air by throwing the ball care- 
lessly from hand to hand; and several other gentlemen dressed like 
them, in straw hats, flannel jackets, and white trowsers, — a costume 
in which they looked very much like amateur stone-masons — were 
sprinkled about the tents, towards one of which Mr. Wardle con- 
ducted the party. 

Several dozen of *' How-are-you's ? " hailed the old gentleman's 
arrival; and a general raising of the straw hats, and bending forward 
of the flannel jackets, followed his introduction of his guests as gentle- 
men from London, who were extremely anxious to witness the pro- 
ceedings of the day, with which, he had no doubt, they would be greatly 

" You had better step into the marquee I think. Sir," said one very 
stout gentleman, whose body and legs looked like half a gigantic roll 
of flannel, elevated on a couple of inflated pillow-cases. 

" You'll find it much pleasanter Sir," urged another stout gentle- 
man, who strongly resembled the other half of the roll of flannel 

" You're very good," said Mr. Pickwick. 

*' This way," said the first speaker; " they notch in here — it's the 



best place in the whole field;" and the cricketer, panting on before, 
.preceded them to the tent. 

" Capital game — smart sport — fine exercise — very," were the words 
which fell upon Mr. Pickwick's ear as he entered the tent ; and the 
first object that met his eyes, was his green-coated friend of the 
Rochester coach, holding forth, to the no small delight and edification 
of a select circle of the chosen of AU-Muggleton. His dress was 
slightly improved, and he wore boots ; but there was no mistaking 

The stranger recognised his friends immediately : and, darting for- 
ward and seizing Mr. Pickwick by the hand, dragged him to a seat, 
with his usual impetuosity, talking all the while as if the whole of the 
arrangements were under his especial patronage and direction. 

" This way — this way — capital fun — lots of beer — hogsheads ; rounds 
of beef— bullocks ; mustard — cart loads ; glorious day— -down with 
you — make yourself at home— glad to see you — very." 

Mr. Pickwick sat down as he was bid, and Mr. Winkle and Mr. 
Snodgrass also complied with the directions of their mysterious friend. 
Mr. Wardle looked on, in silent wonder. 

" Mr. Wardle — a friend of mine," said Mr. Pickwick. 

" Friend of yours ! — My dear Sir, how are you ? — Friend of my 
friend's— give me your hand. Sir"— and the stranger grasped Mr. 
Wardle's hand with all the fervour of a close intimacy of many years, 
and then stepped back a pace or two as if to take a full survey of his 
face and figure, and then shook hands with him again, if possible, more 
warmly than before. 

" Well; and how came you here?" said Mr. Pickwick, with a smile 
in which benevolence struggled with surprise. 

" Come," replied the stranger — " stopping at Crown — Crown at 
Muggleton — met a party — flannel jackets — white trowsers — anchovy 
sandwiches — devilled kidneys — splendid fellows — glorious." 

Mr. Pickwick was sufficiently versed in the stranger's system of 
stenography to infer from this rapid and disjointed communication 
that he had, somehow or other, contracted ah acquaintance with the 
All-Muggletons, which he bad converted, by a process peculiar to him- 
self, into that extent of good fellowship on which a general invitation 
may be easily founded. His curiosity was therefore satisfied, and put- 
ting on his spectacles he prepared himself to watch the play which 
was just commencing. 

AU-Muggleton had the first innings ; and the interest became intense 
when Mr. Dumkins and Mr. Podder, two of the most renowned mem- 
bers of that most distinguished club, walked, bat in hand, to their 
respective wickets. Mr. Luff'ey, the highest ornament of Dingley Dell 
was pitched to bowl against the redoubtable Dumkins, and Mr. Strug- 
gles was selected to do the same kind office for the hitherto uncon- 
quered Podder. Several players were stationed, to " look out," in 
different parts of the field, and each fixed himself into the proper atti- 
tude by placing one hand on each knee, and stooping very much as if 
he were "making a back" for some beginner at leap-frog. All 
the regr.lar players do this sort of thing; — indeed it's gf^nerally 

'•-.- ^ 



Biip}>o$etl that it is quite impossible to look out properly in any other 

The umpires were stationed behind the wickets ; the scorers were pre- 
])ared to notch the runs ; a breathless silence ensued. Mr. LufFey retired 
a few paces behind the wicket of the passive Podder, and applied the 
hall to his right eye for several seconds. Dumkins confidently awaited 
its coming-, with his eyes fixed on the motions of Luffey. 

" Play," suddenly cried the bowler. The ball flew from his hand 
straight and swift towards the centre stump of the wicket. The wary 
Dumkins was on the alert ; it fell upon the tip of the hat, and bounded 
far away over the heads of the scouts, who had just stooped low enough 
to let it fly over them. 

** Run — run — another. — Now, then, throw her up — up with her — 
stop there — another — no — yes — no — throw her up, throw her up." — 
Such were the shouts which followed the stroke ; and, at the conclu- 
sion of which AU-Muggleton had scored two. Nor was Podder behind- 
hand in earning laurels wherewith to garnish himself and Muggleton. 
He blocked the doubtful balls, missed the bad ones, took the good ones, 
and sent them flying to all parts of the field. The scouts were hot 
and tired ; the bowlers were changed and bowled till their arms ached ; 
but Dumkins and Podder remained unconquered. Did an elderly 
gentleman essay to stop the progress of the ball, it rolled between his 
legs, or slipped between his fingers. Did a slim gentleman try to catch 
it, it struck him on the nose, and bounded pleasantly off with redoubled 
violence, while the slim gentleman's eyes filled with water, and his 
form writhed with anguish. Was it thrown straight up to the wicket, 
Dumkins had reached it before the ball. In short, when Dumkins was 
caught out, and Podder stumped out, AU-Muggleton had notched some 
fifty-four, while the score of the Dingley Dellers was as blank as their 
faces. The advantage was too great to be recovered. In vain did the 
eager Lufl'ey, and the enthusiastic Struggles, do all that skill and expe- 
rience could suggest, to regain the ground Dingley Dell had lost in the 
contest; — it was of no avail; and in an early period of the v^inning 
game Dingley Dell gave in, and allowed the superior prowess of Al'- 

The stranger, meanwhile, had been eating, drinking, and talking, 
without cessation. At every good stroke he expressed his satisfaction 
and approval of the player in a most condescending and patronising 
manner, which could not fail to have been highly gratifying to the 
party concerned ; while at every bad attempt at a catch, and every 
failure to stop the ball, he launched his personal displeasure at the head 
of the devoted individual in such denunciations as — " Ah, ah ! — stupid" 
— " Now butter-fingers " — " Muff"" — " Humbug" — and so forth — 
ejaculations which seemed to establish him in the opinion of all around, 
as a most excellent and undeniable judge of the whole art and mystery 
of the noble game of cricket. 

" Capital game — well played — some strokes admirable," said the 
stranger as both sides crowded into the tent, at the conclusion of the 

I 2 


" You have played it Sir ? " inquired Mr. Wardle, who had been 
much amused by his loquacity. 

" Played it ! Think I have — thousands of times — not here — West 
Indies — exciting: thing — hot work — very." 

" It must be rather a warm pursuit in such a climate/' observed Mr. 

" Warm ! — red hot — scorching — glowing. Played a match once — 
single wicket — friend the Colonel — Sir Thomas Blazo — who should 
get the greatest number of runs. — Won the toss — first innings — seven 
o'clock, A.M. — six natives to look out — went in ; kept in — heat intense 
— natives all fainted — taken away — fresh half-dozen ordered — fainted 
also — Blazo bowling— supported by two natives— couldn't bowl me 
out — fainted too — cleared away the Colonel — wouldn't give in — ^faithful 
attendant — Quanko Samba — last man left — sun so hot, bat in blisters, 
ball scorched brown — five hundred and seventy runs — rather ex- 
hausted — Quanko mustered up last remaining strength — bowled me out 
— had a bath, and went out to dinner " 

" And what became of what's-his-name, Sir?" inquired an old 


« No — the other gentleman.'* 

"Quanko Samba?" 

" Yes Sir." 

" Poor Quanko — never recovered it — bowled on, on my account — 
bowled off, on his own — died Sir." Here the stranger buried his 
countenance in a brown jug, but whether to hide his emotion or imbibe 
its contents, we cannot distinctly affirm. We only know that he paused 
suddenly, drew a long and deep breath, and looked anxiously on, as two 
of the principal members of the Dingley Dell club approached Mr. 
Pickwick, and said — 

" We are about to partake of a plain dinner at the Blue Lion, Sir; 
we hope you and your friends will join us." 

" Of course," said Mr. Wardle, " among our friends we include Mr. 
;" and he looked towards the stranger. 

" Jingle," said that versatile gentleman, taking the hint at o^nee. 
*' Jingle— Alfred Jingle, Esq., of No Hall, Nowhere." 

" I shall be very happy, I am sure," said Mr. Pickwick. 

"So shall I," said Mr. Alfred Jingle, drawing one arm through Mr. 
Pickwick's, and another through Mr Wardle's, as he whispered confi- 
dentially in the ear of the former gentleman : — 

" Devilish good dinner— cold, but capital — peeped into the room 
this morning — fowls and pies, and all that sort of thing — pleasant 
fellows these — well behaved, too— very." 

There being no further preliruinaries to arrange, the company strag- 
gled into the town in little knots of twos and threes; and within a 
quarter of an hour were all seated in the great room of the Blue Lion 
Inn Muggleton — iUr. Dumkins acting as chairman, and Mr. Luffey 
officiating as vice. 

There was a vast deal of talking and rattling of knives and forks, 


and plates : a great running about of three ponderous headed waiters, 
and a rapid disappearance of the substantial viands on the table ; to 
each and every of which item of confusion, the facetious Mr. Jingle 
lent the aid of half-a-dozen ordinary men at least. When everybody 
had eat as much as they could, the cloth was removed, bottles, g-lassres, 
and dessert were placed on the table ; and the waiters withdrew to "clear 
away," or in other words, to aj)propriate to their own private use and 
emolument, whatever remnants of the eatables and drinkables they 
could contrive to lay their hands on. 

Amidst the general hum of mirth and conversation that ensued, 
there was a little man with a puffy Say-nothing-to-me,-or-ril-contradict- 
you sort of countenance, who remained very quiet ; occasionally look- 
ing round him when the conversation slackened, as if he contemplated 
j)utting in something very weighty : and now and then bursting into 
a short cough of inexpressible grandeur. At length, during a moment of 
comparative silence, the little man called out in a very loud, solemn voice, 

" Mr. Luffey." 

Everybody was hushed into a profound stillness as the individual 
addressed, replied, 

'♦ Sir." 

" I wish to address a few words to you Sir, if you will entreat the 
gentlemen to fill their glasses." 

Mr. Jingle uttered a patronizing " hear, hear," which was responded 
to, by the remainder of the company : and the glasses having been 
filled the Vice-President assumed an air of wisdom in a state of pro- 
found attention ; and said, 

** Mr. Staple." 

" Sir," said the little man, rising, " I wish to address what I have to 
say to you and not to our worthy chairman, because our worthy chair- 
man is in some measure — I may say in a great degree — the subject of 
what I have to say, or I may say to — to — 

" State," suggested Mr. Jingle. 

— " Yes, to state" said the little man, " I thank my honourable 
friend, if he will allow me to call him so — (four hears, and one cer- 
tainly from Mr. Jingle) — for the suggestion. Sir, I am a Deller — a 
Dingley Deller, (cheers). I cannot lay claim to the honour of forming 
an item in the population of Muggleton ; nor Sir, I will frankly admit, 
do I covet that honour : and I will tell you why Sir, (hear); to 
Muggleton I will readily concede all those honours and distinctions 
to which it can fairly lay claim — they are too numerous and too 
well known to require aid or recapitulation from me. But Sir, 
while we remember that Muggleton has given birth to a Dumkins 
and a Podder, let us never forget that Dingley Dell can boast a 
Luffey and a Struggles. (Vociferous cheering.) Let me not be 
considered as wishing to detract from the merits of the former gen- 
tlemen. Sir, I envy them the luxury of their own feelings, on this 
occasion. (Cheers). Every gentleman who hears me, is probably 
acquainted with the reply made by an individual, who — to use an 
ordinary figure of speech — ' hung out ' in a tub, to the emperor 
Alexander : — ' If I w ere not Diogenes/ said he ' I would be Alexander.' 


I can well imagine these gentlemen to say, ' If I were not Dumkins I 
would be Luffey ; if I were hot Podder I would be Struggles.' (Enthu- 
siasm.) But gentlemen of Muggleton is it in cricket alone that your 
fellow-townsmen stand pre-eminent? Have you never heard of Dum- 
kins and determination? Have you never been taught to associate 
Podder with property? (Great applause). Have you never, when 
struggling for your rights, your liberties, and your privileges, been 
reduced, if only for an instant, to misgiving and despair ? And when 
you have been thus depressed, has not the name of Dumkins laid afresh 
within your breast, the fire which had just gone out ; and has not 
a word from that man, lighted it again as brightly as if it had never 
expired ? (Great cheering.) Gentlemen, I beg you to surround with 
a rich halo of enthusiastic cheering, the united names of * Dumkins 
and Podder.'" 

Here the little man ceased, and here the company commenced a 
raising of voices, and thumping of tables, which lasted with little inter- 
mission during the remainder of the evening. Other toasts were drunk. 
Mr. Luffey and Mr. Struggles, Mr. Pickwick and Mr. Jingle, were, 
each in his turn, the subject of unqualified eulogium ; and each in due 
course returned thanks for the honour. 

Enthusiastic as we are in the noble cause to which we have devoted 
ourselves, we should have felt a sensation of pride which we cannot 
express, and a consciousness of having done something to merit 
immortality of which we are now deprived, could we have laid the 
faintest outline of these addresses before our ardent readers. Mr. 
Snodgrass, as usual, took a great mass of notes, which would no doubt 
have afforded most useful and valuable information, had not the burn- 
ing eloquence of the words or the feverish influence of the wine made 
that gentleman's hand so extremely unsteady, as to render his writing 
nearly unintelligible, and his style wholly so. By dint of patient 
investigation, we have been enabled to trace some characters bearing a 
faint resemblance to the names of the speakers ; and we can also discern 
an entry of a song (supposed to have been sung by Mr. Jingle,) in 
which the words " bowl" " sparkling" " ruby" " bright," and " wine" 
are frequently repeated at short intervals. We fancy too, that we can 
discern at the very end of the notes, some indistinct reference to 
" broiled bones ;" and then the words " cold" " without" occur : but as 
any hypothesis we could found upon them must necessarily rest upon 
mere conjecture, we are not disposed to indulge in any of the specu- 
lations to which they may give rise. 

We will therefore return to Mr. Tupman ; merely adding that within 
some few minutes before twelve o'clock that night, the convocation of 
worthies of Dingley Dell and Muggleton, were heard to sing with great 
feeling and emphasis, the beautiful and pathetic national air, of 

We won 't go home 'till morning, 
AVe won't go home 'till morning, 
We won't go home 'till morning, 
'Till day-light doth appear. 




The quiet seclusion of Dingley Dell, the presence of so many of the 
gentler sex, and the solicitude and anxiety they evinced in his behalf, 
were all favourable to the growth and development of those softer feel- 
ings which nature had implanted deep in the bosom of Mr. Tracy Tup- 
man, and which now appeared destined to centre in one lovely object. 
The young ladies were pretty, their manners winning, their dispositions 
unexceptionable ; but there was a dignity in the air, a touch-me-not- 
ishness in the walk, a majesty in the eye of the spinster aunt, to which, 
at their time of life they could lay no claim, which distinguished her 
from any female on whom Mr. Tupman had ever gazed. That there 
was something kindred in their nature, something congenial in their 
souls, something mysteriously sympathetic in their bosoms, v/sls evident. 
Her name was the first that rose to Mr. Tupman's lips as he lay 
wounded on the grass ; and her hysteric laughter, was the first sound 
that fell upon his ear, when he was supported to the house. But 
had her agitation arisen from an amiable and feminine sensibility 
which would have been equally irrepressible in any case ; or had it been 
called forth by a more ardent and passionate feehng, which he, of all 
men living, could alone awaken ? These were the doubts which racked 
his brain as he lay extended on the sofa : these were the doubts which 
he determined should be at once and for ever resolved. 

It was evening. Isabella and Emily had strolled out with Mr. 
Trundle ; the deaf old lady had fallen asleep in her chair ; the snoring 
of the fat Ijoy, penetrated in a low and monotonous sound from the 
distant kitchen ; the buxom servants were lounging at the side-door, 
enjoying the pleasantness of the hour, and the delights of a flirtation, 
on first principles, with certain unwieldy animals attached to the farm ; 
and there sat the interesting pair, uncared for by all, caring for nonie, 
and dreaming only of themselves : there they sat, in short, like a paii* 
of carefully-folded kid-gloves — bound up in each other. 

*' I have forgotten my flowers," said the spinster aunt. 

*' Water them now," said Mr. Tupman, in accents of persuasion. 

" You will take cold in the evening air," urged the spinster aunt, 

" No, no," said Mr. Tupman, rising; •* it will do me good. Let me 
accompany you." 

The lady paused to adjust the sHng in which the lefi arm of the 
youth was placed, and taking his right arm led him to the garden. 

There was a bower at the further end, with honeysuckle, jessamine, 
and creeping plants — one of those sweet retreats, which humane men 
erect for the accommodation of spiders. 


The spinster aunt took up a large watering-pot which lay iu one 
corner, and was about to leave the arbour. Mr. Tupman detained her. 
and drew her to a seat beside him 

" Miss Wardle ! " said he. 

The spinster aunt trembled, till some pebbles which had accidentally- 
found their way into the large watering-pot, shook like an infant's 

" Miss Wardle," said Mr. Tupman, " you are an angel." 

" Mr. Tupman!" exclaimed Rachael, blushing as red as the watering- 
pot itself. 

" Nay," said the eloquent Pickwickian — " I know it but too well." 

•* All women are angels, they say," murmured the lady, playfully. 

" Then what can you be ; or to what, without presumption, can I 
compare you?" replied Mr. Tupman. " Where was the woman ever 
seen, who resembled you? Where else could I hope to find so rare 
a combination of excellence and beauty ? Where else could I seek 

to Oh !" Here Mr. Tupman paused, and pressed the hand which 

clasped the handle of the happy watering-pot. 

The lady turned aside her head. " Men are such deceivers," she 
softly whispered. 

" They are, they are," ejaculated Mr. Tupman ; " but not all men. 
There lives at least one being who can never change — one being who 
would be content to devote his whole existence to your happiness — 
who lives but in your eyes — who breathes but in your smiles — who 
bears the heavy burden of life itself only for you." 

' Could such an individual be found," said the lady 

"But he can be found," said the ardent Mr. Tupman, interposing. 
*• He is found. He is here Miss Wardle." And ere the lady was 
uwareof his intention, Mr. Tupman had sunk upon his knees at her 

" Mr. Tupman, rise," said Rachael. 

'Never!" was the valorous reply. "Oh, Rachael!" — He seized 
her passive hand, and the watering-pot fell to the ground as he pressed 
it to his lips. — " Oh, Rachael ! say you love me." 

" Mr. Tupman," said the spinster aunt, with averted head — " I can 
hardly speak the words ; but — but — you are not wholly indifferent 
to me." 

Mr. Tupman no sooner heard this avowal, than he proceeded to do 
what his enthusiastic emotions prompted, and what, for aught we know, 
(for we are but little acquainted with such matters,) people so circum- 
stanced always do. He jumped up, and, throwing his arm round the 
neck of the spinster aunt, imprinted upon her lips numerous kisses, 
which after a due show of struggling and resistance, she recerved so 
passively, that there is no telling how many more Mr. Tupman might 
have bestowed, if the lady had not given a very unaffected start and 
exclaimed in an affrighted tone, — 

" Mr. Tupman, we are observed I — we are discovered!" 

Mr. Tupman looked round. There was the fat boy, perfectly motion- 
less, with his large circular eyes staring into the arbour, but without 
the lightest expression on his face that the most expert physiogno- 


-*-' • 


B^. *^ 





liiitit coiiUl have referred to ahtonishmert, curio>ity,ur any othor known 
|.us>iun tliat aj^itates the human hn-ast. Mr. 'rui>nian j,-azc(l on the fat 
hoy, and the fat hoy stared at him ; and-the longer Mr. Tupman ob- 
served the utter vacancy of the fat boy's countenance, the n)ore con- 
vinced ho became that he either did not know, or did not understand, 
anything' that had been going forward. Under this impression, he said 
with great firmness, — 

*• What do you want here, Sir?" 

** Supper's ready Sir," was the prompt reply. 

" Have you just come here Sir ? " inquired Mr. Tupman, with a 
piercing look. 

'* Just," replied the fat boy. 

Mr. Tupman looked at him very hard again ; but there was not a 
wink in his eye, or a curve in his face. 

Mr. Tupman took the arm of the spinster aunt, and walked towards 
the house; the fat boy followed behind. 

" He knows nothing of what has happened," he whispered. 

" Nothing," said the spinster aunt. 

There was a sound behind them, as of an imperfectly suppressed 
chuckle. Mr. Tupman turned sharply round. No ; it could not have 
been the fat boy ; there was not a gleam of mirth, or anything but 
feeding in his whole visage. 

" He must have been fast asleep," whispered Mr. Tupman. 

" I have not the least doubt of it," replied the spinster aunt. 

They both laughed heartily. 

Mr. Tupman was wrong. The fat boy, for once, had not been 
fast asleep. He was awake — wide awake — to what had been going 

The supper passed off without any attempt at a general conversation. 
The old lady had gone to bed ; Isabella Wardle devoted herself exclu- 
sively to Mr. Trundle ; the spinster aunt's attentions were reserved for 
Mr. Tupman ; and Emily's thoughts appeared to be engrossed by some 
distant object — possibly they were with the absent Snodgrass. 

Eleven — twelve — one o'clock had struck, and the gentlemen had not 
arrived. Consternation sat on every face. Could they have been way- 
laid and robbed? Should they send men and lanterns in every direc- 
tion by which they could be supposed likely to have travelled home ? 

or should they Hark I there they were. What could have made 

them so late? A strange voice, too I To whom could it belong? 
They rushed into the kitchen whither the truants had repaired, and at 
once obtained rather more than a glimmering of the real state of 
the case. 

Mr. Pickwick, with his hands in his pockets and his hat cocked 
completely over his left eye, was leaning against the dresser, shaking 
his head from side to side, and producing a constant succession of the 
blandest and most benevolent smiles without being moved thereunto by 
any discernible cause or pretence whatsoever ; old Mr. W^ardle, with 
a highly-inflamed countenance, was grasping the hand of a sti*ange 
Konllcinan muttering protestations of eternal friendship; Mr. Winkle, 
supporting himself by the eight-day clock, was feebly invoking do: true- 


tion upon the head of any member of the family who should suggiest 
the propriety of liis retiring for the night ; and Mr. Snodgrass had 
sunk into a cliair, with an expression of the most abject and hopeless 
misery that the human mind can imagine, portrayed in every lineament 
of his expressive face. 

" Is anything the matter?" inquired the three ladies. 

" Nothin' the matter," replied Mr. Pickwick. " We — we're — all 
right. — I say, Wardle, we're all right, ain't we?" 

" I shouhl think so," replied the jolly host. — " My dears, here's my 
friend Mr. Jingle — Mr. Pickwick's friend, Mr. Jingle, come 'pon — 
little visit." 

" Is anything the matter with Mr. Snodgrass Sir?" inquired Emily, 
with great anxiety. 

" Nothing the matter, Ma'am," replied the stranger. *' Cricket 
dinner — glorious party — capital songs — old port — claret — good — very 
good — wine. Ma'am — wine." 

*' It wasn't the wine," murmured Mr. Snodgrass, in a broken voice. 
*' It was the salmon." (Somehow or other, it never is the wine, in 
these cases). 

'* Pladn't they better go to bed Ma'am ? " inquired Emma. " Two 
of the boys will carry the gentlemen up stairs." 

" I won't go to bed," said Mr Winkle, firmly. 

" No living boy shall carry me," said Mr. Pickwick, stoutly; — and 
he went on smiling as before. 

*• Hurrah !" gasped Mr. Winkle faintly. 

"Hurrah !" echoed Mr. Pickwick, taking off his hat and dashing it 
on the floor, and insanely casting his spectacles into the middle of the 
kitchen. — At this humorous feat he laughed outright. 

" Let's — have — 'nother — bottle," cried Mr. Winkle, commencing in 
a very loud key, and ending in a very faint one. His head dropped 
upon his breast ; and, muttering his invincible determination not to go 
to his bed, and a sanguinary regret that he had not " done for old Tup- 
man " in the morning, he fell fast asleep ; in which condition he was 
borne to his apartment by two young giants under the personal super- 
intendence of the fat boy, to whose protecting care Mr. Snodgrass 
shortly afterwards confided his own person. Mr. Pickwick accepted the 
proffered arm of Mr. Tupman and quietly disappeared, smiling more 
than ever ; and Mr. Wardle after taking as affectionate a leave of the 
whole family as if he were ordered for immediate execution, consigned 
to Mr. Trundle the honour of conveying him up stairs, and retired, 
with a very futile attempt to look impressively solemn and dignified. 

" What a shocking scene !" said the spinster aunt. 

" Dis-gusting ! " ejaculated both the young ladies. 

*' Dreadful — dreadful I" said Jingle, looking very grave; he was 
about a bottle and a half ahead of any of his companions. " Horrid 
spectacle — very." 

" What a nice man !" whispered the spinster aunt to Mr. Tupman. 

" Good-looking, too ! " whispered Emily Wardle. 

" Oh, decidedly," observed the spinster aunt. 

Mr. Tupman thought of the widow at Rochester: and his mind was 



frouliled. The succeeding- Imlf-hour's conversation was not of u natuio 
to calm his porturbed spirit. The new visiter was very talkative, and 
the number of his anecdotes was only to be exceeded by the extent of 
his politeness. Mr. Tupman felt, that as Jingle's popularity increased, 
he (Tupman) retired further into the shade. His laughter was forced — 
his merriment feigned ; and when at last he laid his acliing temples 
between the sheets, he thought, with horrid delight on the satisfaction 
it would afford him, to have Jingle's head at that moment between the 
feather bed and the mattrass. 

The indefatigable stranj^er rose betimes next morning, and, although 
his companions remained in bed overpowered with the dissipation of 
the previous night, exerted himself most successfully to promote the 
hilarity of the breakfast-table. So successful were his efforts, that even 
the deaf old lady insisted on having one or two of his best jokes retailed 
through the trumpet ; and even she condescended to observe to the 
spinster aunt, that '* he" (meanini,'- Jingle) " was an impudent young- 
fellow" — a sentiment in which all her relations then and there present 
thoroughly coincided. 

It was the old lady's habit on the fine summer mornings to repair 
to the arbour in which Mr. Tupman had already signalised himself, 
in form and manner following : — first, the fat boy fetched from a peg- 
behind the old lady's bed-room door, a close black satin bonnet, a warm 
cotton shawl, and a thick stick with a capacious handle ; and the old 
lady having put on the bonnet and shawl at her leisure, would lean one 
hand on the stick and the other on the fat boy's shoulder, and walk 
leisurely to the arbour, where the fat boy would leave her to enjoy the 
fresh air for the space of half an hour ; at the expiration of which time 
he would return and reconduct her back to the house. 

The old lady was very precise and very particular ; and as this cere- 
mony had been observed for three successive summers without the 
slightest deviation from the accustomed form, she was not a little sur- 
prised on this particular morning, to see the fat boy, instead of leaving- 
the arbour, walk a few paces out of it, look carefully round him in 
every direction, and return towards her with great stealth and an air 
of the most profound mystery. 

The old lady was timorous — most old ladies are — and her first impres- 
sion was that the bloated lad was about to do her some grievous bodily 
harm with the view of possessing himself of her loose coin. She would 
hare cried for assistance, but age and infirmity had long ago deprived 
her of the power of screaming ; she, therefore, watched his motions with 
feelings of intense terror, which were in no degree diminished by his 
coming close up to her, and shouting in her ear in an agitated, and as 
it seemed to her, a threatening tone, — 


Now it so happened that Mr. Jingle was walking in the garden close 
to the arbour at this moment. He too heard the shout of '• Missus," 
and stopped to hear more. There were three reasons for his doing so. 
In the first place, he was idle and curious ; secondly, he was by no 
means scrupulous ; thirdly, and lastly, he was concealed from view by 
some flowering shrubs. So there he stood, and there he listened. 


" Missus," shouted the fat boy. 

"Well Joe/' said the trembling- old lady. " I'm sure I have been 
a good mistress to you Joe. You have invariably been treated very 
kindly. You have never had too much to do ; and you have alvi^ays 
had enough to eat." 

This last was an appeal to the fat boy's most sensitive feelings. He 
seemed touched as he replied, emphatically, — 

*' I knows I has." 

*' Then w^hat can you want to do now?" said the old lady, gaining 

" I wants to make your flesh creep," replied the boy. 

This sounded hke a very blood-thirsty mode of showing one's grati- 
tude ; and as the old lady did not precisely understand the process by 
which such a result was to be attained, all her former horrors returned. 

" What do you think I see in this very arbour last night?" inquired 
the boy. 

" Bless us I What ? " exclaimed the old lady, alarmed at the solemn 
manner of the corpulent youth. 

" The strange gentleman — him as had his arm hurt — a kissin' and 

h' » » 

" Who, Joe — who ? None of the servants, I hope." 

*' Worser than that," roared the fat boy, in the old lady's ear. 

" Not one of my grand-da'aters ? " 

" Worser than that." 

"Worse than that Joel" said the old lady, who had thought this 
the extreme limit of human atrocity. " Who was it, Joe ? I insist 
upon knowing." 

The fat boy looked cautiously round, and having concluded his survey, 
shouted in the old lady's ear, — 

" Miss Rachael." 

" What ! " said the old lady, in a shrill tone. " Speak louder." 

" Miss Rachael," roared the fat boy. 


The train of nods which the fat boy gave by way of assent, communi- 
cated a hlanc-mange like motion to his fat cheeks. 

" And she suffered him !" exclaimed the old lady. 

A grin stole over the fat boy's features as he said, — 

" I see her a kissin' of him agin." 

If Mr. Jingle, from his place of concealment, could have beheld the 
expression which the old lady's face assumed at this communication, 
the probability is that a sudden burst of laughter would have betrayed 
his close vicinity to the summer-house. He listened attentively. 
Fragments of angry sentences such as, " Without my permission ! " — 
"At her time of life"— " Miserable old 'ooraan like me"— "Might 
liave waited till I was dead," and so forth, reached his ears; and then 
he heard the heels of the fat boy's boots crunching the gravel, as he 
retired and left the old lady alone. 

It was a remarkable coincidence perhaps, but it was nevertheless a 
fact, that Mr. Jingle within five minutes after his arrival at Manor 
Farm on the preceding night, had inwardly resolved to lay siege to 


iLc heart of the spinster aunt, without delay, lie had obserration 
enough to see, that his oft-hand manner was by no means disagreeable 
to the fair object of his attack ; and he had more than a strong sus- 
picion that she possessed that most desirable of all requisites, a small 
independence. The imperative necessity of ousting his rival by some 
means or other, flashed quickly upon him, and he immediately resolved 
to adopt certain proceedings tending to that end and object, without a 
moment's delay. Fielding tells us that man is fire, and woman tow, and 
the Prince of Darkness sets a light to 'em. Mr. Jingle knew that 
young men, to spinster aunts, are as lighted gas to gunpowder, and he 
determined to essay the eftect of an explosion without loss of time. 

Full of reflections upon this important decision, he crept from his 
place of concealment, and, under cover of the shrubs before mentioned, 
approached the house. Fortune seemed determined to favour hia 
design. Mr. Tupraan and the rest of the gentlemen left the garden by 
the side gate just as he obtained a view of it ; and the young ladies 
he knew, had walked out alone, soon after breakfast. The coast was 

The breakfast-parlour door was partially open. He peeped in. The 
spinster aunt was knitting. He coughed ; she looked up and smiled. 
Hesitation formed no part of Mr. Alfred Jingle's character. He laid 
his finger on his lips mysteriously, walked in, and closed the door. 

"Miss Wardle," said Mr. Jingle, with affected earnestness, "for- 
give intrusion — short acquaintance — no time for ceremony — all dis- 

" Sir I " said the spinster aunt, rather astonished by the unexpected 
apparition and somewhat doubtful of Mr. Jingle's sanity. 

" Hush ! " said Mr. Jingle, in a stago whisper ; — " large boy — 
dumpling face — round eyes — rascal ! " Here he shook his head expres- 
sively, and the spinster aunt trembled with agitation. 

"I presume you allude to Joseph Sir?" said the lady, making an 
effort to appear composed. 

" Yes, Ma'am — damn that Joe I — treacherous dog, Joe — told the old 
lady — old lady furious — wild— raving — arbour — Tupman — kissing and 
hugging — all that sort of thing — eh, Ma'am — eh?" 

" Mr. Jingle," said the spinster aunt, " if you come here Sir, to 
insult me " 

" Not at all — by no means," replied the unabashed Mr. Jingle ; — 
" overheard the tale — came to warn you of your danger — tender my 
services — prevent the hubbub. Never mind — think it an insult — 
leave the room" — and he turned, as if to carry the threat into 

" What shall I do ! " said the poor spinster, bursting into tears. " My 
brother will be furious ! " 

" Of course he will," said Mr. Jingle pausing — "outrageous." 

" Oh Mr. Jingle, what can I say I " exclaimed the spinster aunt, in 
another flood of despair. 

" Say he dreamt it," replied Mr. Jingle, coolly. 

A ray of comfort darted across the mind of the spinster aunt at this 
sugfi^eslion. iNlr. Jingle perceived it, and followed up his advantage. 


"Pooh, pooh I — nothing- more easy — blackg-uard boy — lovely 
woman — fat boy horsewhipped — you believed — end of the matter — all 

Whether the probability o'f escaping- from the consequences of this 
ill-timed discovery was delightful to the spinster's feelings, or whether 
the hearing herself described as a " lovely woman" softened the asperity 
of her grief, we know not. She blushed slightly, and cast a grateful 
look on Mr. Jingle. 

That insinuating- gentleman sighed deeply, fixed his eyes on the 
spinster aunt's face for a couple of minutes, started melo-dramatically, 
and suddenly withdrew them. 

" You seem unhappy Mr. Jingle," said the lady, in a plaintive 
voice. " May I show my gratitude for your kind interference, by 
inquiring into the cause, with a view, if possible, to its removal?" 

" Ha ! " exclaimed Mr. Jingle, with another start — " removal I 
remove my unhappiness, and your love bestowed upon a man who i? 
insensible to the blessing* — who even now contemplates a design upon 
the affections of the niece of the creature who — but no ; he is my 
friend ; I will not expose his vices. Miss Wardle — farewell ! " At 
the conclusion of this address, the most consecutive he was ever 
known to utter, Mr. Jingle applied to his eyes the remnant of a hand- 
kerchief before noticed, and turned towards the door. 

" Stay, Mr. Jingle I" said the spinster aunt emphatically. " You havo 
made an allusion to Mr. Tupman — explain it." 

" Never ! " exclaimed Jingle, with a professional (i. e. theatrical) air. 
*' Never I" and, by way of showing- that he had no desire to be ques- 
tioned further, he drew a chair close to that of the spinster aunt and 
sat down. 

" Mr. Jingle," said the aunt, " I entreat — I implore you, if there is 
any dreadful mystery connected with Mr. Tupman, reveal it." 

" Can I," said Mr. Jingle, fixing his eyes on the aunt's face — " Can 
I see — lovely creature — sacrificed at the shrine — heartless avarice ! " 
He appeared to be struggling- with various conflicting- emotions for a 
few seconds, and then said in a low deep voice — " Tupman only 
wants your money." 

" The wretch !" exclaimed the spinster, with energetic indignation. 
(?tTr. Jingle's doubts were resolved. She had money). 

" More than that," said Jingle — " loves another." 

" Another I" ejaculated the spinster. " Who?" 

" Short girl — -'black eyes — niece Emily." 

There was a pause. 

Now if there were one individual in the whole world, of whom the 
spinster aunt entertained a mortal and deeply-rooted jealousy, it was 
this identical niece. The colour rushed over her face and neck, and 
she tossed her head in silence with an air of ineffable contempt. At 
last, biting her thin lips, and bridling up, she said, — 

"It can't be. I wont believe it." 

" Watch 'em " said Jingle. 

" I will" said the aunt. 

" Watch his looks " 


•* I will." 

*' His \vhis|)€rs." 

»' I will." 

" He'll sit next her at table." 

" Let him." 

••He'll flaftor her." 

«« Let him." 

•* He'll pay her every possible attention." 

" Let him." 

** And he'll cut you." 

*• Cut me ! " screamed the spinster aunt, " He cut fne ;-^nnU he I " 
and she trembled with rage and disappointment. 

" You will convince yourself?" said Jingle. 

•' 1 will. 

•• You'll show your spirit?" 

•• 1 will." 

♦' You'll not have him afterwards?" 

*• Never." 

*' You'll ta'ne somebody else?" 

*• Yes." 

•'You shall." 

Mr. Jingle fell on his knees, remained thereupon for five minute? 
thereafter: and rose the accepted lover of the spinster aunt — condition- 
ally upon Tupman's perjury being made clear and manifest. 

The burden of proof lay with Mr. Alfred Jingle ; and he produced his 
evidence that very day at dinner. The spinster aunt could hardly 
believe her eyes. Mr. Tracy Tupman was established at Emily's side, 
ogling, whispering, and smiling, in opposition to Mr. Snodgrass. Not 
a word, not a look, not a glance, did he bestow upon his heart's pride 
of the evening before. 

" Damn that boy I" thought old Mr. Wardle to himself. — He had 
heard the story from his mother. " Damn that boy ! He must have 
been asleep. It's all imagination." 

" Traitor ! " thought the spinster aunt to herself. " Dear Mr. Jingle 
was not deceiving me. Oh ! how I hate the wretch !" 

The followiuL: conversation may serve to explain to our readers, this 
apparently unaccountable alteration of deportment, on the part of Mr; 
Tracy Tupman. 

The time was evening ; the scene the garden. There were two 
figures walking in a side path ; one was rather short and stout ; th* 
other rather tall and slim. They were Mr. Tupman and Mr. Jingle. 
The stout figure commenced the dialogue. 

** How did I do it ?" he inquired. 

•* Splendid — capital — couldn't act better myself — you must repeat 
the part to-morrow — every evening, till further notice." 

•' Does Rachael still wish it?" 

" Of course — she don't like it — but must be done — avert suspicion — < 
afraid of her brother — says there's no help for it — only few days mnre 
— when old folks blinded — crown your happiness." 


" Any message?" 

" Love — best love — kindest regards — unalterable affection. Can I 
say anything- for you?" 

" My dear fellow " replied the unsuspicious Mr. Tupman, fervently 
grasping his " friend's " hand — " carry my best love — say how hard I 
find it to dissemble — say anything that's kind: but add how sensible 
I am of the necessity of the suggestion she made to me, through 
you, this morning. Say I applaud her wisdom and admire her 

" I will. Anything more?" 

" Nothing ; only add how ardently I long for the time when I may 
call her mine, and all dissimulation may be unnecessary." 

" Certainly, certainly. Anything more ? " 

" Oh, my friend!" said poor Mr. Tupman, again grasping the hand 
of his companion, " receive my warmest thanks for your disinterested 
kindness ; and forgive me if I have ever, even in thought, done you 
the injustice of supposing that you could stand in my way. My dear 
friend can I ever repay you ? " 

" Don't talk of it," replied Mr. Jingle. He stopped short, as if 
suddenly recollecting something, and said, — " By-the-by, you can't 
spare ten pounds, can you? — very particular purpose — pay you in 
three davs." 

" I dare say I can," replied Mr. Tupman, in the fulness of his heart. 
" Three days, you say ? " 

" Only three days — all over then — no more difficulties." 

Mr. Tupman counted the money into his companion's hand, and he 
dropped it piece by piece into his pocket, as they walked towards the 

" Be careful," said Mr. Jingle — " not a look." 

*• Not a wink," said Mr. Tupraan. 

" Not a syllable." 

" Not a whisper." 

" All your attentions to the niece — rather rude, than otherwise, to 
the aunt — only way of deceiving the old ones." 

" I'll take care," said Mr. Tupman, aloud. 

" And r\\ take care, " said Mr. Jingle internally ; and they entered 
the house. 

The scene of that afternoon was repeated that evening, and on the 
three afternoons and evenings next ensuing. On the fourth, the host 
was in high spirits, for he had satisfied himself that there was no 
ground for the charge against Mr. Tupman. So was Mr. Tupman, for 
Mr. Jingle had told him that his affair would soon be brought to a 
crisis. So was Mr. Pickwick, for he was seldom otherwise. So was 
not Mr. Snodgrass, for he had grown jealous of Mr. Tupman. So was 
the old lady, for she had been winning at whist. So were Mr. Jingle 
and Miss Wardle, for reasons of sufficient importance in this eventful 
history, to be narrated in another chapter. 




The supper was ready laid, the chairs were drawn round the table, 
bottles, jugs and glasses were arranged upon the sideboard, and every 
thing betokened the approach of the most convivial period in the whole 
four and twenty hours. 

" Where's Rachael ? " said Mr. Wardle. 

" Aye, and Jingle ? " added Mr. Pickwick. 

" Dear me," said the host, " I wonder I haven't missed him before 
Why, I don't think I've heard his voice for two hours at least. Emilj , 
my dear, ring the bell." 

The bell was ri^ng, and the fat boy appeared. 

" Where's Miss Rachael ? " He couldn't say. 

" Where's Mr. Jingle, then ? " He didn't know. 

Every body looked surprised. It was late — past eleven o'clock. Mr. 
Tupman laughed in his sleeve. They were loitering somewhere, talking 
about him. Ha, ha! capital notion that — funny. 

" Never mind," said Wardle, after a short pause, *' they'll turn uu 
presently, I dare say. I never wait supper for anybody." 

" Excellent rule, that," said Mr. Pickwick, " admirable." 

" Pray, sit down," said the host. 

" Certainly," said Mr. Pickwick : and down they sat. 

There was a gigantic round of cold beef on the table, and Mr. Pick- 
wick was supplied with a plentiful portion of it. He had raised his fork 
to his lips, and was on the very point of opening his mouth for the 
reception of a piece of beef, when the hum of many voices suddenly 
arose in the kitchen. He paused, and laid down his fork. Mr. Wardle 
paused too, and insensibly released his hold of the carving-knife, which 
remained inserted in the beef. He looked at Mr. Pickwick. Mr. 
Pickwick looked at him. 

Heavy footsteps were heard in the passage ; the parlour door was 
>uddenly burst open ; and the man who had cleaned Mr. P.ckwick's 
boots on his first arrival, rushed into the room, followed by the fat boy, 
and all the domestics. 

" What the devil's the meaning of this?" exclaimed the host. 

*' The kitchen chimney ain't a- fire, is it, Emma?" inquired the old 

" Lor grandma ! No," screamed both the young ladies. 

" What's the matter?" roared the master of the house. 

Tlie man gasped for breath, and faintly ejaculated — 

*' They ha' gone, Mas'r! — gone right clean off, Sir!" (At this 
juncture, Mr. Tupman was observed to lay down his knife and fork, 
hnd to turn very pale.) 



" Who's gone?" said Mr. Wardle, fiercely. 

'"' Mus'r Jingle and Miss Rachael, in a po*-chay, from Blue Lion, 
Muggleton. 1 was there ; but I couldn't stop 'em ; so I run oif to 

" 1 paid his expenses I " said Mr. Tupman, jumping up frantically, 
"lie's got ten pounds of mine! — stop him ! — he's swindled me I — I 
won't bear it ! — 1 '11 have justice, Pickwick ! — I won't stand it I " and 
with sundry incoherent exclamations of the like nature, the unhappy 
g-entleman .-pun round and round the apartment, in a transport of 

" Lord preserve us ! " ejaculated Mr. Pickwick, eyeing- the extraor- 
dinary gestures of his friend with terrified surprise. " He's gone mad I 
What shall we do ! " . 

" Do ! " said the stout old host, who regarded only the last words of 

the sentence. " Put the horse in the gig ! I'll get a chaise at 

the Lion, and follow 'em instantly. " Where " — he exclaimed, as 

the man ran out to execute the commission — " Where's that villain, 

oe t 

" Here I am ; but I han't a willin," replied a voice. It was the 
fat boy's. 

" Let me get at him, Pickwick ! " cried Wardle, as he rushed at the 
ill-starred youth. " He was bribed by that scoundrel. Jingle, to put 
me on a wrong scent, by telling a cock-and-a-bull story of my sister 
and your friend Tupman ! " (Here Mr. Tupman sunk into a chair.) 
** Let me get at him ! " 

" Don't let him ! " screamed all the women, above whose exclama- 
tions, the blubbering of the fat boy, was distinctly audible. 

" I won't be held!" cried the old man. "Mr. Winkle, take your 
hands off I Mr. Pickwick, let me go. Sir!" 

It was a beautiful sight, in that moment of turmoil and confusion, to 
l)eh61d the placid and philosophical expression of Mr. Pickwick's face, 
albeit somewhat flushed with exertion, as he stood with his arms 
firmly clasped round the extensive waist of their corpulent host, thus 
restraining the impetuosity of his passion, while the fat boy was 
scratched, and pulled, and pushed from the room by all the females 
congregated therein. He had no sooner released his hold, than the 
man entered to announce that the gig was ready. 

"Don't let him go alone!" screamed the females. "He'll kill 
somebody !" 

" I'll go with him," said Mr. Pickwick. 

" You're a good fellow, Pickwick," said the host, grasping his hand. 
*' Emma, give Mr, Pickwick a shawl to tie round his neck — make haste. 
Look after your grandmother, girls ; she's fainted away. Now then, 
are you ready ? " 

Mr. Pickwick's mouth and chin, having been hastily enveloped in a 
large shawl : his hat having been put on his head, and his great coat 
thrown over his arm, he replied in the aifirmative. 

They jumped into the gig. " Give her, her head, Tom," cried the 
nost ; and away they went, down the narrov»- lanes : jolting in and out 


of the cart-ruts, and bumping up against the hedges on either uide, as 
if they would go to pieces every moment. 

" How much are they a-head?" shouted Wardle, as they drove up 
to the door of the Blue Lion, round which a little crowd had col- 
lected, late as it was. 

" Not above three-quarters of an hour," was everybody's reply. 

" Chaise and four directly !— out with 'em I Put up the gig after- 

"Now, boys I" cried the landlord — "chaise and four out — make 
haste — look alive there !" 

Away ran the hostlers, and the boys. The lanterns glimmered, as 
tie men ran to and fro ; the horses' hoofs clattered on the uneven 
paving of the yard ; the chaise rumbled as it was drawn out of the 
coach-house ; and all was noise and bustle. 

•' Now then I — is that chaise coming out to-night?" cried Wardle. 

" Coming down the yard now. Sir," replied the hostler. 

Out came the chaise — in went the horses — on sprung the boys — in 
got the travellers. 

"Mind — the seven-mile stage in less than half an hour I" shouted 

" Off with you I ' 

The boys applied whip and spur, the waiters shouted, the hostlers 
cheered, and away they went, fast and furiously 

" Pretty situation," thought Mr. Pickwick, when he had had a 
moment's time for reflection. " Pretty situation for the General 
Chairman of the Pickwick Club. Damp chaise — strange horses — fifteen 
miles an hour — and twelve o'clock at night I " 

For the first three or four miles, not a word was spoken by either of 
the gentlemen, each being too much immersed in his own reflections, 
to address any observations to his companion. When they had gone 
over that much ground, however, and the horses getting thoroughly 
warmed began to do their work in really good style, Mr. Pickwick 
became too much exhilarated with the rapidity of the motion, to remain 
any longer perfectly mute. 

" We're sure to catch them, I think," said he. 

" Hope so," replied his companion. 

" Fine night," said Mr. Pickwick, looking up at the moon, whicu 
was shining brightly. 

'♦ So much the worse," retunned Wardle ; *' for they'll have had all 
the advantage of the moonlight to get the start of us, and we shall lose 
it. It will have gone down in another hour." 

" It will be rather unpleasant going at this rate in the dark, won't 
it ? " inquired Mr. Pickwick, 

" I dare say it will," replied his friend drily. 

Mr. Pickwick's temporary excitement began to sober down a little, 
as he reflected upon the inconveniences and dangers of the expedition 
in which he had so thoughtlessly embarked. He was roused by a loud 
shouting of the post-boy on the leader. 

" Yj — yo — yo — yo — voe," went the first bav 




" Yo — yo~yo — yoel " wont the secoiul. 

*' Yo— yo- yo— yoel' chimed in old Wardle himself, most lustily, 
with his head and half his body out of the coach window, 

" Yo— yo— yo— yoe I " shouted Mr. Pickwick, taking- up the burden' 
of the cry, though he had not the slightest notion of its meaning or 
object. And amidst the yo— yoing- of the whole four, the chaise 

" What's the matter? " inquired Mr. Pickwick. 

« There's agate here," replied old Wardle, "We shall hear some- 
thing of the fugitives." 

After a lapse of five minutes, consumed in incessant knocking and 
shouting, an old man in his shirt and trousers emerged from the turn- 
pike-house, and opened the gate. 

" How long is it since a post-chaise went through here ? " inquired 
Mr. Wardle. 

" How long ? " 
. "Ah! " 

" Why, I don't rightly know. It worn't a long time ago, nor i; 
worn't a short time ago— just between the two, perhaps." 

" Has any chaise been by at all ? " 

" Oh yes, there's been a chay by." 

" How long ago, my friend,'* interposed Mr. Pickwick, " an hour ? '* 

" Ah, I dare say it might be," replied the man. 

" Or two hours?" inquired the post-boy on the wheeler. 

" Well, I should n't wonder if it was," returned the old man doubt- 

" Drive on, boys," cried the testy old gentleman : " don't waste any 
more time with that old idiot ! " 

" Idiot ! " exclaimed the old man with a grin, as he stood in the 
middle of the road with the gate half closed, watching the chaise which 
rapidly diminished in the increasing distance. " No — not much o' that 
either ; you've lost ten minutes here, and gone away as wise as you came 
arter all. If every man on the line as has a guinea give him earns it 
half as well, you won't catch t'other chay this side Mich'lmas, old short 
and fat." And with another prolonged gJ'in, the old man closed the 
gate, re-entered his house, and bolted the door after him. 

Meanwhile thie chaise proceeded, without any slackening of pace, 
towards the conclusion of the stage. The moon, as Wardle had fore- 
told, was rapidly on the wane ; large tiers of dark heavy clouds which 
had been gradually overspreading the sky for some time past, now 
formed one black mass over head ; and large drops of rain which pat-, 
tered every now and then against the windows of the chaise, seemed to 
warn the travellers of the rapid approach of a -stormy night. The wind, 
too, which was directly against them, swept in furious gusts down the 
narrow road, and howled dismally through the trees which skirted the 
pathway. Mr. Pickwick drew his coat closer about him, coiled himself 
inore snugly up into the corner of the chaise, and fell into a sound 
sleep, from which he was only awakened by the stopping of the vehicle, 
the sound of the hostler's bell, and a loud crv of '• Horses on directlv ! " 


But here another delay occurred. The boys were sleeping with such 
mysterious soundness, that it took rive minutes a-picce-to wake them. 
The hostler had somehow or other mislaid the key of the stable, and 
even when that was found, two sleepy helpers put the wrong harness 
on the wrong horses, and the whole process of harnessing had to be 
gone through afresh. Had Mr. Pickwick been alone, these multiplied 
obstacles would hare completely put an end to the pursuit at once, but 
old Wardle was not to be so easily daunted ; and he laid about him with 
such hearty good-will, cuffing this man, and pushing that ; strapping a 
buckle here, and taking in a link there, that the chaise was ready in a 
much shorter time than could reasonably have been expected, under so 
many difficulties. 

Tliey resumed their journey ; and certainly the prospect before them 
was by no means encouraging. The stage was fifteen miles long, the 
night was dark, the wind high, and the rain pouring in torrents. It wa» 
impossible to make any great way against such obstacles united : it 
was hard upon one o'clock already ; and nearly two hours were consume<l 
in getting to the end of the stage. Here, however, an object presented 
itself, which rc-kindled their hopes, and re-animated their drooping 

" When did this chaise come in ? " cried old Wardle, leaping out of 
his own vehicle, and pointing to one covered with wet mud, which was 
standing in the yard. 

*' Not a quarter of an hour ago, Sir;" replied the hostler, to whom 
the question was addressed. 

" Lady and gentleman?" inquired Wardle, almost breathless with 

" Yes, Sir." 

" Tall gentleman — dress coat — long legs — thin body ? " 

♦♦ Yes, Sir." 

" Elderly lady — thin face — rather skinny— eh ? " 

»♦ Yes, Srr." 

** By Heavens, it's tliem, Pickwick," exclaimed the old gentleman. 

" Would have been here before," said the hostler, " but they broke 
a trace." 

** 'Tis them," said Wardle, " it is, by Jove I Chaise and four in- 
stantly. We shall catch them yet, before they reach the next stage. 
A guinea a-piece, boys — be alive there — bustle about — there's good 

And with such admonitions as these, the old gentleman ran up and 
down the yard, and bustled to and fro, in a state of excitement which 
communicated itself to Mr. Pickwick also ; and under the influence of 
which, that gentleman got himself into complicated entanglements with 
harness, and mixed up with horses and wheels of chaises, in the most 
surprising manner, firmly believing that by so doing, he was materially 
forwarding the preparations for their resuming their journey. 

'* Jump in — jump in ! " cried old Wardle, climbing into the chaise, 
pulling up the steps, and slamming the door after him. ** Come along, 
make haste." And before Mr. Pickwick knew precisely what he was 



about, he felt himself forced in at the other door, by one pull from the 
old gentleman ,*and one push from the hostler ; and off they were again. 

*' Ah I we are moving- now/' said the old gentleman exultingly. 
They were indeed, as was sufficiently testified to Mr. Pickwick, by his 
constant collisions either with the hard wood-work of the chaise, or the 
body of his companion. 

*' Hold up ! " said the stout old Mr. Wardle, as Mr. Pickwick dived 
head foremost into his capacious waistcoat. 

" I never did feel such a jolting in my life," said Mr. Pickwick. 

'* Never mind," replied his companion, " it '11 soon be over. Steady, 

Mr. Pickwick planted himself into his own corner, as firmly as he 
could ; and on whirled the chaise faster than ever. 

They had travelled in this way about three miles, when Mr. Wardle, 
who had been looking out of the window for two or three minutes, 
suddenly drew in his face, covered with splashes, and exclaimed in 
breathless eagerness — 

" Here they are ! " 

Mr. Pickwick thrust his head out of his window. Yes : there was a 
chaise and four, a short distance before them, dashing along at full 

" Go on, ^o on," almost shrieked the old gentleman. " Two guineas 
a-piece, boys — don't let 'em gain on us — keep it up — keep it up." 

The horses in the first chaise started on at their utmost speed ; and 
those in Mr. Wardle's galloped furiously behind them. 

" I see his head," exclaimed the choleric old man, " Damme, 1 see 
his head." 

« So do I," said Mr. Pickwick, « that's he." 

Mr. Pickwick was not mistaken. The countenance of Mr. Jingle, 
completely coated with the mud thrown up by the wheels, was plainly 
discernible at the window of his chaise; and the motion of his arm, 
which he was waving violently towards the postilions, denoted that he 
was encouraging them to increased exertion. 

The interest was intense. Fields, trees, and hedges, seemed to rush 
past them with the velocity of a whirlwind, so rapid was the pace at 
which they tore along. They were close by the side of the first chaise. 
Jingle's voice could be plainly heard, even above the din of the wheels, 
urging on the boys. Old Mr. Wardle foamed with rage and excite- 
ment. He roared out scoundrels and villains by the dozen, clenched 
his fist and shook it expressively at the object of his indignation ; but 
Mr. Jingle only answered with a contemptuous smile, and replied to his 
menaces by a shout of triumph, as his horses, answering the increased 
application of whip and spur, broke into a faster gallop, and left the 
pursuers behind. 

Mr. Pickyvick had just drawn in his head, and Mr. Wardle, exhausted 
with shouting, had done the same, when a tremendous jolt threw them 
forward against the front of the vehicle. There was a sudden bump— a 
loud crash — away rolled a wheel, and over went the chaise. 

After a very few seconds of bewilderment and confusion, in which 



/-^ ss 


noUiiiig l»ut the plunging of horsos, and breaking of glass, could be 
made out, Mr. Pickwick felt himself violently pulled out from among 
the ruins of the chaise ; and as soon as he had gained his feet, and 
extricated his head from the skirts of his great coat which materially 
impeded the usefulness of his spectacles, the full disaster of the case 
met his view. 

Old Mr. Wardle without a hat, and his clothes torn in several places, 
stood by his side, and the fragments of the chaise lay scattered at their 
feet. The post-boys, who had succeeded in cutting the traces, were 
standing, disrigured with mud and disordered by hard riding, by the 
horses* heads. About a hundred yards in advance was the other chaise, 
which had pulled up on hearing the crash. The postillions, each with a 
broad grin convulsing his countenance, were viewing the adverse party 
from their saddles, and Mr. Jingle was contemplating the wreck from the 
coach-win<low, with evident satisfaction. The day was just breaking, 
and the whole scene was rendered perfectly visible by the grey light of 
the morning. 

♦< Hallo I shouted the shameless Jingle, " any body damaged ? — 
elderly gentlemen — no light weights— dangerous work — very." 

** You're a rascal ! " roared Wardle. 

" Ha! hal " replied Jingle; and then he added, with a knowing 
wink, and a jerk of the thumb towards the interior of the chaise — " I 
say — she's very well — desires her compliments — begs you won't trouble 
yourself — love to Tuppy — won't you get up behind ? — drive on boys." 

The postilions resumed their proper attitudes, and away rattled the 
chaise, Mr, Jingle fluttering in derision a white handkerchief from the 
coach window. 

Nothing in the whole adventure, not even the upset, had disturbed 
the calm and equable current of Mr. Pickwick's temper. The villany 
however, which could first borrow money of his faithful follower, and 
then abbreviate his name to " Tuppy," was more than he could patiently 
bear. He drew his breath hard, and coloured up to the very tips of his 
spectacles, as he said, slowly and emphatically — 

" If ever I meet that man again, I'll — " 

** Yes, yes," interrupted Wardle, " that's all very well : but while we 
stand talking here, they'll get their licence, and be married in London." 

Mr. Pickwick paused, bottled up his vengeance, and corked it down. 

" How far is it to the next stage ? " inquired Mr. Wardle, of one of 
the boys. 

" Six mile, a'nt it, Tom? " 

" Rayther better." 

" Rayther better nor six mile, Sir." 

'* Can't be helped," said Wardle, •* we must walk it, Pickwick." 

" No help for it," replied that truly great man. 

So sending forward one of the boys on horseback, to procure a fresh 
chaise and horses, and leaving the other behind to take care of the 
broken one, Mr. Pickwick and Mr. Wardle set manfully forward on the 
walk, first tying their shawls round their necks, and slouching down 
their hats to escape as much as possible from the deluge of rain, which 
after a slight cesHution, had again begun to pour heavily down. 




r a ' 

There are in London several old inns, once the head quarters of 
celebrated coaches in the days when coaches performed their journeys 
in a graver and more solemn manner than they do in these times ; but 
which have now degenerated into little more than the abiding and 
booking places of country wagons. The reader would look in vain 
for any of these ancient hostelries, among the Golden Crosses and Bull 
and Mouths, which rear their stately fronts in the improved streets of 
London. If he would light upon any of these old places, he must direct 
his steps to the obscurer quarters of the town ; and there in some 
secluded nooks he will find several, still standing with a kind of gloomy 
sturdiness, amidst the modern innovations which surround them. 

In the Borough especially, there still remain some half dozen old 
inns, which have preserved their external features unchanged, and which 
have escaped alike the rage for public improvement, and the encroach- 
ments of private speculation. Great, rambling, queer, old places they 
ftre, with galleries, and passages, and stair-cases, wide enough and anti- 
quated enough, to furnish materials for a hundred ghost stories, supposing 
we should ever be reduced to the lamentable necessity of inventing any, 
and that the world should exist long enough to exhaust the innumer- 
able veracious legends connected with old London Bridge, and its adja- 
cent neighbourhood on the Surrey side. 

It was in the yard of one of these inns — of no less celebrated a one 
than the White Hart — that a man was busily employed in brushing the 
dirt off a pair of boots, early on the morning succeeding the events 
narrated in the last chapter. He was habited in a coarse-striped waist- 
coat, with black calico sleeves, and blue glass buttons : drab breeches 
and leggings. A bright red handkerchief was wound in a very loose and 
unstudied style round his neck, and an old white hat was carelessly 
thrown on one side of his head. There were two rows of boots before 
him, one cleaned and the other dirty, and at every addition he made to 
the clean row, he paused from his work, and contemplated its results 
with evident satisfaction. 

The yard presented none of that bustle and activity which are the 
usual characteristics of a large coach inn. Three or four lumbering 
wagons, each with a pile of goods beneath its ample canopy, about the 
height of the second-floor window of an ordinary house, were stowed 
away beneath a lofty roof which extended over one end of the yard ; 
and another, which was probably to commence its journey that morning, 
v.'a:« drawn out into the open space. A double tier of bed-room gal- 


lerieS) with old clumsy balustraJes, ran round two sides of the straggling 
area, and a double row of bells to correspond, sheltered from the wea- 
ther by a little sloping roof, hung over the door leading to the bar and 
coffee-room. Two or three gigs and chaise-carts were wheeled up 
under difl'erent little sheds and pent-houses ; and the occasional heavy 
tread of a cart-horse, or rattling of a chain at the fi?rther end of the 
yard, announced to any body who cared about the matter, that the 
stable lay in that direction. When we add that a few boys in smock 
frocks, were lying asleep on heavy packages, woolpacks, and other 
articles that were scattered about on heaps of straw, we have described 
as fully as need be, the general appearance of the yard of the White 
Hart Inn, High Street, Borough, on the particular morning in 

A loud ringing of one of the bells, was followed by the appearance 
of a smart chambermaid in the upper sleeping gallery, who, after tap- 
ping at one of the doors, and receiving a request from within, called over 
the balustrades. 

" Sam I " 

" Hallo," replied the man with the white hat. 

" Number twenty-two wants his boots." 

" Ask number twenty-two, vether he'll have 'em now, or vait till 
he gets 'em," was the reply. 

" Come, don't be a fool, Sam," said the girl, coaxingly, *• the gentle- 
roan wants his boots directly." 

" Well, you are a nice young 'ooman for a musical party, you are," 
said the boot-cleaner. " Look at these here boots — eleven pair o* 
boots ; and one shoe as b'longs to number six, with the wooden leg 
The eleven boots is to be called at half-past eight and the shoe at nine. 
Who's number twenty-two, that's to put all the others out? No, no; 
reg'lar rotation, as Jack Ketch said, ven he tied the men up. Sorry to 
keep you a watin'. Sir, but I'll attend to you directly." 

Saying which, the man in the white hat set to work upon a top-boot 
with increased assi(fuity. 

There was another loud ring ; and the bustling old landlady of the 
White Hart made her appearance in the opposite gallery. 

" Sam," cried the landlady, "where's that lazy, idle — why Sam — 
oh, there you are ; whydon't you answer? " 

" Vouldn't be gen-teel to answer, 'till you'd done talking," replied 
Sam, gruffly. 

'* Here, clean them shoes for number seventeen directly, and take 
'em to private sitting-room, number five, first floor." 

The landlady flung a pair of lady's shoes into the yard, and bustled 

" Number 5," said Sam, as he picked up the shoes, and taking a 
piece of chalk from his pocket, made a memorandum of their destina- 
tion on the soles — " Lady's shoes and private sittiu' room ! I suppose 
the didn't come in the vaggin." 

*' She came in early this morning," cried the girl, who was still lean- 
ing over the railing of the gallery, " with a gentleman in a hackney- 


coach, and it's him as wants his boots, and you'd better do 'em, and 
that's all about it." 

" Vy didn't you say so before," said Sara, with great indignation, 
singling out the boots in question from the heap before him. " For all 
I know'd he vas one o' the regular three-pennies. Private room I and 
a lady too I If he's anything of a gen'lm'n, he's vurth a shillin' a day, 
let alone the arrands." 

Stimulated by this inspiring reflection, Mr. Samuel brushed away 
with such hearty good will, that in a few minutes the boots and shoes, 
with a polish which would have struck envy to the soul of the amiable 
Mr. Warren, (for they used Day and Martin at the White Hart) had 
arrived at the door of number five. 

" Come in," said a man's voice, in reply to Sam's rap at the door. 

Sam made his best bow, and stepped into the presence of a lady ana 
gentleman seated at breakfast. Having officiously deposited the gen- 
tleman's boots right and left at his feet, and the lady's shoes right and 
left at hers, he backed towards the door. 

" Boots," said the gentleman. 

" Sir," said Sam, closing the door, and keeping his hand on the 
knob of the lock. 

•' Do you know — what's a-name — Doctors' Commons ? " 

" Yes Sir." 

" Where is it ? " 

" Paul's Church-yard, Sir; low archway on the carriage-side, book- 
seller's at one corner, hot- el on the other, and two porters in the mid- 
dle as touts for licences." 

" Touts for licences ! " said the gentleman. 

** Touts for licences," replied Sam. "Two coves in vhite aprons-— 
touches their hats ven you walk in — 'Licence, Sir, licence ? ' Queer 
sort, them, and their mas'rs too, Sir — Old Bailey Proctors— and no 

" What do they do ? " inquired the gentleman. 

" Do I You, Sir ! That an't the worst on it, neither. They puts 
things into old gen'lm'ns heads as they never dreamed of. My father, 
Sir, vos a coachman. A vidower he vos, and fat enough for anything 
- — uncommon fat, to be sure. His missus dies, and leaves him four 
hundred pound. Down he goes to the Commons, to see the lawyer and 
draw the blunt — wery smart- — top boots on — nosegay in his button- 
hole — broad-brimmed tile — green shawl — quite the gen'lm'n. Goes 
through the archvay, thinking how he should inwest the money — up 
comes the touter, touches his hat — * Licence, Sir, licence ? '— ' What's 
that ? ' says my father. — * Licence, Sir,' says he. — ' What licence ? * 
says my father. — ' Marriage licence,' says the touter. — ' Dash my ves- 
iit,' says my father, ' I never thought o' that.' — * I think you wants 
one, Sir,' says the touter. My father pulls up, and thinks a bit — * No,* 
says he, * damme, I'm too old, b'sides I'm a many sizes too large,' says 
he. — « Not a bit on it, Sir,' says the touter. — ' Think not ? ' says my 
father. — < I'm sure not, says be; 'we married a gen'lm'n twice your 
size, last Monday.' — ' Did you, though,' said my father. — « To be sure, 


ve did,' says tbe touler, * you're a babby to him — this vay, Sir — thit> 
vay ! ' — and sure enough my father walks urter him, like a tame monkey 
behind a horgan, into a little back office, vere a feller sat among dirty 
papers and tin boxes, making believe he was busy. * Pray take a seat, 
vile I makes out the affidavit, Sir,' says the lawyer. — * 'J'hunkee, Sir,* 
says my father, and down he sat, and stared vith all his eyes, and his 
mouth vide open, at the names on the boxes. — * What's your name, 
Sir,' says the lawyer.' — * Tony Weller,' says my father. — ' Parish ? * 
says the lawyer. — ' Belle Savage,* says my father ; for he stopped there 
ven he drove up, and he know'd nothing about parishes, he didn't. — 

* And what's the lady's name?' says the lawyer. My father was struck 
all of a heap. ' Blessed if I know,* says he. — ' Not know ! ' says the 
lawyer.—' No more nor you do,' says my father, ' can't I put that in 
arterwards ? ' — ' Impossible I ' says the lawyer. — ' Wery well,' says 
my father, after he'd thought a moment, 'put down Mrs. Clarke.* — 

* What Clarke? ' says the lawyer, dipping his pen in the ink. — ' Susan 
C Wke, Markis o' Granby, Dorking,' says my father ; * she'll have me, 
if £ ask her, 1 des-say — I never said nothing to her, but she'll have me, 
I know.' The licence was made out, and she did have him, and what's 
more she's got him now ; and / never had any of the four hundred 
pound, worse luck. Beg your pardon. Sir," said Sam, when he had 
concluded, " but vhen I gets on this here grievance, I runs on like a 
new barrow vith the vheel greased." Having said which, and having 
paused for an instant to see whether he was w anted for any thing more, 
8am left the room. 

♦* Half-past nine — just the time — off at once ;" said the gentleman, 
whom we need hardly introduce as Mr. Jingle. 

" Time — for what ? " said the spinster aunt, coquettishly. 

" Licence, dearest of angels — give notice at the church — call you 
mine, to-morrow " — said Mr. Jingle, and he squeezed the spinster 
aunt's hand. 

" The licence ! " said Rachael, blushing. 

*• The licence," repeated jNIr. Jingle — 

" In hurry, post-hoete for a licence. 
Id hurry, ding dong I come back." 

*' How you run on," said Rachael. 

" Run on — nothing to the hours, days, weeks, months, years, when 
we're united — run on — they'll fly on — bolt — mizzle — steam-engine — 
thousand-horse power — nothing to it.'* 

" Can't — can't we be married before to-morrow morning ? " inquired 

" Impossible — can't be — notice at the church — leave the licence to- 
day — ceremony come off to-morrow." 

" I am so terrified, lest my brother should discover us ! " said 

" Discover — nonsense — too much shaken by the break down — 
bebides— extreme caution — gave up the post-chaise — walked on — took. 


a hackney-coach — came to the Borough — last place in the world that 
he'd look in — ha ! ha ! — capital notion that — very." 

" Don't he long-," said the spinster, affectionately, as Mr. Jingle 
stuck the pinched up hat on his head. 

'* Long away from you 9 — Cruel charmer/' and Mr. Jingle skipped 
playfully up to the spinster aunt, imprinted a chaste kiss upon her lips, 
and danced out of the room. 

^' Dear man ! " said the spinster, as the door closed after him. 

<' Rum old girl," said Mr. Jingle, as he walked down the passage. 

It is painful to reflect upon the perfidy of our species ; and we will 
not therefore, pursue the thread of Mr. Jingle's meditations, as he 
wended his way to Doctors' Commons. It will be sufficient for our 
purpose to relate, that escaping the snares of the dragons in white 
aprons, who guard the entrance to that enchanted region, he reached 
the Vicar General's office in safety, and having procured a highly flat- 
tering address on parchment, from the Archbishop of Canterbury, 
to his " trusty and well-beloved Alfred Jingle and Rachael Wardle, 
greeting," he carefully deposited the mystic document in his pocket, and 
retraced his steps in triumph to the Borough. 

Ho was yet on his way to the White Hart, when two plump gentle- 
men and one thin one, entered the yard, and looked round in search of 
some authorised person of whom they could make a few inquiries. Mr. 
Samuel Weller happened to be at that moment engaged in burnishing 
a pair of painted tops, the personal property of a farmer, who was 
refreshing himself with a slight lunch of two or three pounds of cold 
beef and a pot or two of porter, after the fatigues of the Borough 
market ; and to him the thin gentleman straightway advanced — 

" My friend," said the thin gentleman. 

" You're one o' the adwice gratis order," thought Sara, " or you 
wouldn't be so werry fond o' me all at once." But he only said-— 
" Well Sir." 

" My friend," said the thin gentleman, with a conciliatory hem — 
" Have you got many people stopping here, now? Pretty busy. 

Sam stole a look at the inquirer. He was a little high-dried man, 
with a dark squeezed up face, and small restless black eyes, that kept 
winking and twinkling on each side of his little inquisitive nose, as if 
they were playing a perpetual game of peep-bo with that feature. He 
was dressed all in black, with boots as shiny as his eyes, a low white 
neckcloth, and a clean shirt with a frill to it. A gold watch-chain, and 
seals, depended from his fob. He carried his black kid gloves in his 
hands, not on them ; and as he spoke, thrust his wrists beneath his 
coat-tails, with the air of a man who was in the habit of propounding 
some regular posers. 

" Pretty busy, eh ? " said the little man. 

*• Oh, werry well. Sir," replied Sam, " we shan't be bankrupts, and 
we shan't make our forl'ns. We eats our biled mutton without capers, 
and don't care for horse-radish ven ve can get beef." 

<* Ah," said the little man, '• you're a wag, a'nt you? " 




" 31 y elJest brother was trouMetl with ihut compliiint," saitl Sam 
" it may he catching — I used to sleep »»;ith him." 

** Tliis is a curious old house of yours," said the little man, lookiiijf 
round him. 

*♦ If you'd sent word you was a coming, we'd ha' had it repaired ;" 
replied the imperturbable Sam. 

The little man seemed rather baffled by these several repulses, and a 
short consultation took place between him and the two plump gentle- 
men. At its conclusion, the little man took a pinch of snuff from an 
oblong silver box, and was apparently on the point of renewing the 
conversation, when one of the plump gentlemen, who in addition to a 
benevolent countenance, possessed a pair of spectacles, and a pair of 
black gaiters, interfered — 

" The fact of the matter is," said the benevolent gentleman, " that 
my friend here (pointing to the other plump gentleman,) will give you 
half a guinea, if you'll answer one or two — " 

" Now, my dear Sir — my dear Sir," said the little man, " pray allow 
me — my dear Sir, the very first principle to be observed in these cases, 
is this ; if you place a matter in the hands of a professional man, you 
must in no way interfere in the progress of the business ; you must 
repose implicit confidence in him. Really, Mr. (he turned to the other 
plump gentleman, and said) — I forget your friend's name." 

" Pickwick," said Mr. Wardle, for it was no other than that jolly 

" Ah, Pickwick — really Mr. Pickwick, my dear Sir, excuse me — I 
shall be happy to receive any private suggestions of yours, as amicus 
curice, but yon must see the impropriety of your interfering with my 
conduct in this case, with such an ad caplandum argument, as the oft'er 
of half a guinea. Really, my dear Sir, really,"' and the little man took 
an argumentative pinch of snuff, and looked very profound. 

'• My only wish. Sir," said Mr. Pickwick, '* was to bring this very 
unpleasant matter to as speedy a close as possible." 

" Quite right — quite right," said the little man. 

" With which view," continued Mr. Pickwick, " I made use of the 
argument which my experience of men has taught me is the most 
likely to succeed in any case," 

" Ay, ay," said the little man, " very good, very good, indeed ; but 
you should have suggested it to me. My dear Sir, I'm quite certain 
you cannot be ignorant of the extent of confidence which must be 
placed in professional men. If any authority can be necessary on such 
a point, my dear Sir, let me refer you to the well-known case in Barn- 
well and — " 

" Never mind George Barn veil," interrupted Sam, who had remained 
a wondering listener during this short colloquy ; " every body knows 
vhat sort of a case his was, tho' it's always been my opinion, mind you, 
that the young 'ooman deserved scragging a precious sight more than 
he did. Hows'ever, that's neither here nor there. You want me \o 
except of half a guinea. Werry well, I'm agreeable : I can't say no 
fairer than that, can I, Sir ? (Mr. Pickwick smiled.) Then the next 


question is, what the devil do you want with rae, as the man said ven 
he seed the ghost ? " 

" We want to know" — said Mr. Wardle. 

" Now my dear Sir — my dear Sir," interposed the busy little man. 

Mr. Wardle shrugged his shoulders, and was silent. 

<' We want to know," said the little man, solemnly ; " and we ask the 
question of you, in order that we may not awaken apprehensions inside 
—we want to know who you've got in this house, at present." 

" Who there is in the house I " said Sara, in whose mind the inmates 
were always represented by that particular article of their costume, 
which came under his immediate superintendence. " There's a vooden 
leg in number six, there's a pair of Hessians in thirteen, there's two 
pair of halves in the commercial, there's these here painted tops in the 
snuggery inside the bar, and five more tops in the coffee-room." 

" Nothing more ? " said the little man. 

" Stop a bit," replied Sam, suddenly recollecting himself. *' Yes ; 
there's a pair of Vellingtons a good deal vorn, and a pair o' lady's shoes, 
in number five." 

" What sort of shoes ? " hastily inquired Wardle, who, together with 
Mr, Pickwick, had been lost inbewilderment at the singular catalogue 
of visiters. 

" Country make," replied Sam. 

" Any maker's name ? " 

*< Brown," 

« Where of? " 

" Muggleton." 

" It is them," exclaimed Wardle. " By Heavens, we've found 

" Hush I " said Sam. " The Vellingtons has gone to Doctors' Com- 

*' No," said the little man. 

" Yes, for a licence." 

" We're in time," exclaimed Wardle. " Show us the room; not a 
moment is to be lost." 

" Pray, my dear Sir — pray," said the little man ; " caution, caution.'* 
He drew from his pocket a red silk purse, and looked very hard at Sam 
as he drew out a sovereign. 

Sam grinned expressively. 

" Show us into the room at once, without announcing us," said the 
little man, " and it's yours." 

Sam threw the painted tops into a corner, and led the way through 
a dark passage, and up a wide staircase. He paused at the end of a, 
second passage, and held out his hand. 

" Here it is," whispered the attorney, as he deposited the money in 
the hand of their guide. 

The man stepped forward for a few paces, followed by the two friends 
and their legal adviser. He stopped at a door. 

" Is this the room ? " murmured the little gentleman. 

Sam nodded assent. 


Old Wardle opened the door; and the whole three walked into the 
room just as Mr. Jinj,^lts who had that moment returned, had produced 
the licence to the spinster aunt. 

The spinster uttered a loud shriek, and, throwing herself in a chair, 
covered her face with her hands. Mr. Jing^le crumpled up the licence, 
and thrust it into his coat-pocket. The unwelcome visiters advanced 
into the middle of the room. 

" You — you are a nice rascal, ar'n't you ? " exclaimed Wardle, breath- 
less with passion. 

" My dear Sir, my dear Sir," said the little man, laying his hat on 
the table. " Pray, consider — pray. Scandnlum magnatum, defama- 
tion of character, action for damages. Calm yourself, my dear Sir, 


'* How dare you drag my sister from my house? " said the old man. 

" Ay — ay — very good," said the little gentleman, " you may ask 
that. How dare you. Sir? — eh. Sir?" 

** WTio the devil are you ? " inquired Mr. Jingle, in so fierce a tone, 
that the little gentleman involuntarily fell back a step or two. 

** Who is he, you scoundrel," interposed Wardle. " He's my lawyer, 
Mr. Perker, of Gray's inn. Perker, I'll have this fellow prosecuted — 
indicted — I'll — I'll— damme, I'll ruin him. And you," continued Mr. 
Wardle turning abruptly round to his sister, ** you Uachael, at a time 
of life when you ought to know better, what do you mean by running 
ai»-ay with a vagabond, disgracing your family, and making yourself 
miserable. Get on your bonnet, and come back. Call a hackney-coach 
there, directly, and bring this lady's bill, d'ye hear — d'ye hear ? " 

*' Cert'nly, Sir," replied Sam, who had answered Wardle's violent 
ringing of the bell with a degree of celerity, which must have appeared 
marvellous to any body who didn't know that his eye had been applied 
to the outside of the key-hole during the whole interview. 

'* Get on your bonnet," repeated Wardle. 

*' Do nothing of the kind," said Jingle. " Leave the room, Sir — no 
business here — lady's free to act as she pleases — more than one-and- 

*' More than one-and twenty I " ejaculated Wardle, contemptuousl}-. 
*' More than one and-forty I " 

'* I a'nt," said the spinster aunt, her indignation getting the better of 
her determination to faint. 

" You are," replied Wardle, " you're fifty if you're an hour." 

Here the spinster aunt uttered a loud shriek, and became senseless. 

*' A glass of water," said the humane Mr. Pickwick, summoning the 

*' A glass of water ! " said the passionate Wardle. " Bring a bucket, 
and throw it all over her ; it'll do her good, and she richly deserves it.*' 

*• Ugh, you brute ! " ejaculated the kind-hearted landlady. " Poor 
dear." And with sundry ejaculations, of " Come now, there's a dear — 
drink a little of this — it'll do you good — don't give way so — there's a 
love," &c. &c. the landlady, assisted by a chambermaid, proceeded to 
vinegar the forehead, beat the hands, titillate the nose, and unlace thi- 


stays of the spinster aunt, and to administer such other restoratives 
as are usually applied by compassionate females to ladies who are endea- 
vouring to ferment themselves into hysterics. 

*' Coach is ready, Sir," said Sam, appearing at the door. 

" Come along," cried Wardle. " I'll carry her down stairs." 

At this proposition, the hysterics came on with redoubled violence. . 

The landlady was about to enter a very violent protest against this 
proceeding, and had already given vent to an indignant inquiry whether 
Mr. Wardle considered himself a lord of the creation, when Mr, Jingle 
interposed — 

" Boots," said he, " get me an officer." 

*' Stay, stay," said little Mr. Perker. « Consider, Sir, consider." 

" I'll not consider," replied Jingle, ** she's her own mistress — see 
who dares to take her away — unless she wishes it." 

" I wont be taken away," murmured the spinster aunt. " I dont 
wish it." (Here there was a frightful relapse.) 

*' My dear Sir," said the little man, in a low tone, taking Mr. War- 
dle and Mr. Pickwick apart : ^' My dear Sir, we're in a very awkward 
situation. It's a distressing case — very; I never knew one more so; 
but really, my dear Sir, really we have no power to controul this lady's 
actions. I warned you before we came, my dear Sir, that there was 
nothing to look to but a compromise." 

There was a short pause. 

" What kind of compromise would you recommend ? " inquired Mr. 

" Why, my dear Sir, our friend's in an unpleasant position — very 
much so. We must be content to suffer some pecuniary loss." 

" I'll suffer any, rather than submit to this disgrace, and let her, fool 
as she is, be made miserable for life/' said Wardle. 

" I rather think it can be done," said the bustling little man. " Mr. 
Jingle, will you step with us into the next room for a moment ? " 

Mr. Jingle assented, and the quartette walked into an empty apart- 

" Now Sir," said the little man, as he carefully closed the door, " is 
there no way of accommodating this matter — step this way Sir, for a 
moment — into this window, Sir, where we can be alone — there, Sir, 
there, pray sit down, Sir. Now, my dear Sir, between you and I, we 
know very well, my dear Sir, that you have run off with this lady for 
the sake of her money. Don't frown, Sir, don't frown ; I say, between 
you and I, we know it. We are both men of the world, and we know 
very well that our friends here, are not- — eh ? " 

Mr. Jingle's face gradually relaxed ; and something distantly resem- 
bling a wink, quivered for an instant in his left eye. 

" Very good, very good," said the little man, observing the impres- 
sion he had made. " Now the fact is, that beyond a few hundreds, the 
lady has little or nothing till the death of her mother — fine old lady, 
my dear Sir." 

" 0/c?,"'said Mr. Jingle, briefly but emphatically. 

*' Why, yes," said the attorney, with a slight cough. " You are 


right, my dear Sir, slie is ixither old. She comes of an old family 
ihougfh, my dear Sir ; old in every Rense of the word. The founder of 
that family came into Kent, when Julius Ceesar invaded Hritain ; — only 
one member of it, since, who hiisn't lived to eighty-Hve, and he was 
beheaded by one of the Henrys. The old lady is not seventy-three 
now, my dear Sir." The little man paused, and took a pinch of snuff. 
•♦ Well," cried Mr. Jingle. 

" Well, my dear Sir — you don't take snuff? — ah I so much the better 
—expensive habit — well, my dear Sir, you're a fine young man, man of 
the world — able to push your fortune, if you had capital, eh ? " 
" Well," said Mr. Jingle again. 
" Do you comprehend me ? " 
** Not'quite." 

" Don't you think — now, ray dear Sir, I put it to you, dont you 
think — that fifty pounds and liberty, would be better than Miss Wardle 
and expectation ? " 

** Won't do — not half enough ! " said Mr. Jingle, rising. 
*' Nay, nay, my dear Sir," remonstrated the little attorney, seizing 
bim by the button. " Good round sum — a man like you could treble 
it in no time — great deal to be done with fifty pounds, my dear Sir." 

" More to be done with a hundred and fifty," replied Mr. Jingle, 

" Well, ray dear Sir, we won't waste time in splitting strews," resumed 
the little man, " say — say — seventy." 
" Won't do," said Mr. Jingle. 

"Don't go away, my dear Sir — pray don't hurry," said the little 
man. '• Eighty ; come : I'll write you a cheque at once." 
" Won't do," said Mr. Jingle. 

" Well, my dear Sir, well," said the little man, still detaining him; 
"just tell me what will do." 

** Expensive affair," said Mr. Jingle, " Money out of pocket — 
posting, nine pounds ; licence, three — that's twelve — compensation, a 
hundred — hundred and twelve — Breach of honour-— and loss of the 
lady — ' 

** Yes, my dear Sir, yes," said the little man, with a knowing look, 
" never mind the last two items. That's a hundred and twelve — say a 
hundred — come." 

* And twenty," said Mr. Jingle. 

•* Come, come, I'll write you a cheque," said the little man ; and 
down he sat at the table for that purpose. 

" I'll make it payable the day after to-morrow," said the little man, 
with a look towards Mr. Wardle; "and we can get the lady away, 
meanwhile." Mr. Wardle sullenly nodded assent. 
*♦ A hundred," said the little man. 
" And twenty," said Mr. Jingle. 
" My dear Sir," remonstrated the little man. 
" Give it him," interposed Mr. Wardle, ♦' and let him ^o.*' 
The cheque was written by the little gentleman, and pocketed by 
Mr. Jingle. 



" Now, leave this house instantly I " said Wardle, starting up. 

" My dear Sir," urged the little man. 

*' And mind," said Mr. Wardle, " that nothing should have induced 
me to make this compromise — not even a regard for my family — if I 
had not known, that the moment you got any money in that pocket of 
yours, you'd go to the devil faster, if possible, than you would without 
it — " 

" My dear Sir," urged the little man again. 

" Be quiet, Perker," resumed Wardle. '< Leave the room, Sir." 

" Oif directly," said the unabashed Jingle. " Bye — bye — Pickwick." 

If any dispassionate spectator could have beheld the countenance of 
the illustrious man, whose name forms the leading f€>ature of the title 
of this work, during the latter part of this conversation, he would have 
been almost induced to wonder that the indignant fire which Hashed 
from his eyes, did not melt the glasses of his spectacles — so majestic 
was his wrath. His nostrils dilated, and his fists clenched involuntarily, 
as ho heard himself addressed by the villain. But he restrained him- 
self again— he did wo# pulverise him. 

<' Here," continued the hardened traitor, tossing the licence at Mr. 
Pickwick's feet ; " get the name altered — take home the lady— do for 

Mr. Pickwick was a philosopher, but philosophers are only men in 
armour, after all. The shaft had reached him, penetrated through his 
philosophical harness, to his very heart. Jn the frenzy of his rage, he 
hurled the inkstand madly forward, and followed it up himself. But 
Mr. Jingle had disappeared, and he found himself caught in the arms 
of Sam. 

'* Hallo," said that eccentric functionary, " furniter's cheap vere you 
come from. Self acting ink, that 'ere ; it's wrote your mark upon the 
wall, old gen'lm'n. Hold still, Sir : wot's the use o' runnin' arter a 
man as has made his lucky, and got to t' other end of the Borough 
by this time." 

Mr. Pickwick's mind, like those of all truly great men, was open to 
conviction. He was a quick, and powerful reasoner ; and a moment's 
reflection sufficed to remind him of the impotency of his rage. It sub- 
sided as quickly as it had been roused. He panted for breath, and looked 
benignanfly round upon his friends. 

Shall we tell the lamentations that ensued, when Miss Wardle found 
herself deserted by the faithless Jingle? Shall we extract Mr. Pick- 
wick's masterly description of that heart-rending scene ? His note- 
book, blotted with the tears of sympathising humanity, lies open before 
us ; one word, and it is in the printer's hands. But, no ! we will be 
resolute I We will not wring the public bosom, with the' delineation 
of such suffering ! 

Slowly and sadly did the two friends and the deserted lady, return 
next day in the Muggleton heavy coach. Dimly and darkly had the 
sombre shadows of a summer's night fallen upon all around, when they 
again reached Dingley Dell, and stood within the entrance to Manor 

•f / 




at an election; and containing a manuscript of the old 

A NIGHT of quiet and repose in the profound silence of Diuglej 
Dell, and an hour's breathing of its fresh and fragrant air on the ensuing 
morning, completely recovered Mr. Pickwick from the effects of his 
late fatigue of body and anxiety of mind. That illustrious man had 
been separated from his friends and followers, for two whole days ; and 
it was with a degree of pleasure and delight, which no common imagi- 
nation can adequately conceive, that he stepped forward to greet Mr. 
Winkle and Mr. Snodgi*ass, as he encountered those gentlemen on his 
return from his early walk. The pleasure was mutual ; for who 
could ever gaze on Mr. Pickwick's beaming face without experiencing 
the sensation ? But still a cloud seemed to hang over his companions 
which that great man could not but be sensible of, and was wholly at a 
loss to account for. There was a mysterious air about them both, as 
unusual as it was alarming. 

" And how," said Mr. Pickwick, when he had grasped his followers 
by the hand, and exchanged warm salutations of welcome ; " how is 
Tupraan ? " 

Mr. Winkle, to whom the question was more peculiarly addressed, 
made no reply. He turned away his head, and appeared absorbed, in 
melancholy reflection. 

" Snodgrass," said Mr. Pickwick, earnestly, " How is our friend — he 
is not ill ? " 

" No," replied Mr. Snodgrass ; and a tear trembled on his sentimental 
eye-lid, like a rain-drop on a window-frame. *' No ; he is not ill." 

Mr. Pickwick stopped, and gazed on each of his friends in turn. 

" Winkle — Snodgrass," said Mr. Pickwick : " what does this mean ? 
Where is our friend ? What has happened ? Speak — I conjure, I 
entreat — nay, I command you, speak." 

There was a solemnity — a dignity — in Mr. Pickwick's manner, not 
to be withstood. 

" He is gone," said Mr. Snodgrass. 

" Gone I " exclaimed Mr. Pickwick, " Gone ! '' 

*' Gone," repeated Mr. Snodgrass. 

" Where ?" ejaculated Mr. Pickwick. 

" We can only guess, from that communication," replied Mr. Snod- 
grass, taking a letter from his pocket, and placing it in his friend's 
hand. " Yesterday morning, when a letter was received from Mr. 
Wardle, stating that you would be home with his sister at night, the 
melancholy which had hung over our friend during the whole of ihe 

L 2 


previous day, was observed to increase. He shortly afterwards disap- 
peared : he was missing during- the whole day, and in the evening- this 
letter was brought by the hostler from the Crown, at Muggleton. It 
had been left in his charge in the morning, with a strict injunction that 
it should not be delivered until night." 

Mr. Pickwick opened the epistle. It was in his friend's hand-writing, 
and these were its contents : 

" My dear Pickwick, 

'* You, my dear friend, are placed far beyond the reach of many 
mortal fraiUies and weaknesses which ordinary people cannot overcome. 
You do not know what it is, at one blow, to be deserted by a lovely and 
fascinating creature, and to fall a victim to the artifices of a villain, who 
hid the grin of cunning, beneath the mask of friendship. I hope you 
never may. 

" Any letter, addressed to me at the Leather Bottle, Cobham, Kent, 
will be forwarded — supposing I still exist. I hasten from the sight of 
that world, which has become odious to me. Should I hasten from it 
altogether, pity — forgive me. Life, my dear Pickwick, has becomie 
insupportable to me. The spirit which burns within us, is a porter's 
knot, on which to rest the heavy load of worldly cares and troubles ; 
and when that spirit fails us, the burden is too heavy to be borne. We 
sink beneath it. You may tell Rachael — Ah, that name I — 

"Tracy Tupman." 

« We must leave this place, directly," said Mr. Pickwick, as he re- 
folded the note. " It would not have been decent for us to remain 
here, under any circumstances, after what has happened ; and now we 
are bound to follow in search of our friend." And so saying, he led the 
way to the house. 

His intention was rapidly communicated. The entreaties to remain 
were pressing, but Mr. Pickwick was inflexible. Business,. he said, 
required his immediate attendance. 

The old clergyman was present. 

" You are not really going? " said he, taking Mr. Pickwick aside. 

Mr. Pickwick reiterated his former determination. 

" Then here," said the old gentleman, " is a little manuscript, which 
I bad hoped to have the pleasure of reading to you myself. I found it 
on the death of a friend of mine — a medical man, engaged in our County 
Lunatic Asylum — among a variety of papers, which I had the option 
of destroying or preserving, as I thought proper. I can hardly believe 
that the manuscript is genuine, though it certainly is not in my friend's 
hand. However, whether it be the genuine production of a maniac, or 
founded upon the ravings of some unhappy being, whioh I think more 
probable, read it, and judge for yourself." 

Mr. Pickwick received the manuscript, and parted from the benevo- 
lent old gentleman with many expressions of good-will and esteem. 

It was a more difficult task to take leave of the inmates of Manor 
Farm, from whom they had received so much hospitality and kindness. 




Mr. Pickwick kissed the youngs ladies — we were going to say, as if 
they were hiu own daughters, only as he might possihly have infused 
a little naoro warmth into the salutation, the comparison would not be 
quito appropriate — hup:ged the old lady with filial cordiality : and pat- 
ted the rosy cheeks of the female servants in a most patriarchal manner, 
as he slipped into the hands of each, some more substantial expressions 
of his approval. The exchange of cordialities with their fine old host 
and Mr. Trundle, were even more hearty and prolonged ; and it was not 
until Mr. Snodgrass had been several times called for, and at last 
emeri^ed from a dark passage followed soon after by Emily (whose bright 
eyes looked unusually dim) that the three friends were enabled to tear 
themselves from their friendly entertainers. Many a backward look 
they gave at the Farm, as they walked slowly away : and many a kiss 
did Mr. Snodgrass waft in the air, in acknowledgement of something 
very like a lady's handkerchief, which was waved from one of the upper 
windows, until a turn of the lane hid the old house from their sight. 

At Muggleton they procured a conveyance to Rochester. By the 
time they reached the last-named place, the violence of their grief had 
sufficiently abated to admit of their making a very excellent early din- 
ner ; and having procured the necessary information relative to the road, 
the three friends set for^vard again in the afternoon to walk to Cobham. 

A delightful walk it was : for it was a pleasant afternoon in June, 
and their way lay through a deep and shady wood, cooled by the light 
wind which gently rustled the thick foliage, and enlivened by the songs of 
the birds that perched upon the boughs. The ivy and the moss crept in 
thick clusters over the old trees, and the soft green turf overspread the 
ground like a silken mat. They emerged upon an open park, with an 
ancient hall, displaying the quaint and picturesque architecture of Eliza- 
beth's time. Long vistas of stately oaks and elm trees appeared on 
every side : large herds of deer were cropping the fresh grass ; and occa- 
sionally a startled hare scoured along the ground, with the speed of the 
shadows thrown by the light clouds which sweep across a sunny land- 
scape like a passing breath of summer. 

" If this," said Mr. Pickwick, looking about him; "if this were the 
place to which all who are troubled with our friend's complaint came, I 
fancy their old attachment to this world would very soon return." 
' I think so too," said Mr. Winkle. 

" And really," added Mr. Pickwick, after half an hour's walking had 
brought them to the village, " really for a misanthrope's choice, this is 
one of the prettiest and most desirable places of residence, I ever met 

In this opinion also, both Mr. Winkle and Mr. Snodgrass expressed 
their concurrence ; and having been directed to the Leather Bottle, a 
clean and commodious village ale-house, the three travellers entered, 
and at once inquired for a gentleman of the name of Tupman. 

" Show the gentlemen into the parlour, Tom," said the landlady. 

A stout country lad opened a door at the end of the passage, and the 
three friends entered 2 long, low-roofed room, furnished with a large 
number of high-backed leather-cushioned chairs, of fantastic shapes, 


and embellished with a great variety of old portraits and roughly- 
coloured prints of some antiquity. At the upper end of the room was 
a table, with a white cloth upon it, well covered with a roast fowl, 
bacon, ale^ and et ceteras ; and at the table sat Mr. Tupman, looking 
as unlike a man who had taken his leave of the world, as possible. 

On the entrance of his friends, that gentleman laid down his knife 
and fork, and with a mournful air advanced to meet them. 

" I did not expect to see you here," he said, as he grasped Mr. Pick- 
wick's hand. " It's very kind." 

" Ah I " said Mr. Pickwick, sitting down, and wiping from his fore- 
head the perspiration which the walk had engendered. " Finish your 
dinner, and walk out with me. I wish to speak to you alone." 

Mr. Tupman did as he was desired ; and Mr. Pickwick having refreshed 
himself with a copious draught of ale, waited his friend's leisure. The 
dinner was quickly despatched, and they walked out together. 

For half an hour, their forms might have been seen pacing the church- 
yard to and fro, while Mr. Pickwick was engaged in combatting his 
companion's resolution. Any repetition of his arguments would be 
useless ; for what language could convey to them that energy and force 
which their great originator's manner communicated ? Whether Mr. 
Tupman was already tired of retirement, or whether he was wholly un- 
able to resist the eloquent appeal which was made to him, matters not ; 
he did not resist it at last. 

" It mattered little to him," he said, " where he dragged out the 
miserable remainder of his days : and since his friend laid so much 
stress upon his humble companionship, he was willing to share his 

Mr. Pickwick smiled ; they shook hands; and walked back to re-join 
their companions. 

It was at this moment that Mr. Pickwick made that immortal disco- 
very, which has been the pride and boast of his friends, and the envy 
of every antiquarian in this or any other country. They had passed 
the door of their inn, and walked a little way down the village, before 
they recollected the precise spot in which it stood. As they turned 
back, Mr. Pickwick's eye fell upon a small broken stone, partially 
buried in the ground, in front of a cottage-door. He paused. 

" This is very strange," said Mr. Pickwick. 

" What is strange ? " inquired Mr. Tupman, staring eagerly at every 
object near him, but the right one. " God bless me, what's the matter ?" 

This last was an ejaculation of irrepressible astonishment, occasioned 
by seeing Mr. Pickwick, in his enthusiasm for discovery, fall on his 
knees before the little stone, and commence wiping the dust off it with 
his pocket-handkerchief. 

" There is an inscription here," said Mr. Pickwick. 

" Is it possible ! " said Mr. Tupman. 

" I can discern," continued Mr. Pickwick, rubbing away with all his 
might, and gazing intently through his spectacles : " I can discern a 
cross, and a B, and then a T. This is important," continued Mr. Pick- 
wick, starting up. " This is some very old inscription, existing perhaps 


long befure the ancient alms-houses in thiii place. It must not bt 

He tapped at the cottaj^e-door. A labouring man opened it. 

•♦ Do you know how this stone came here, my friend ? " inquired the 
benevolent Mr. Pickwick. 

** No, I doan't. Sir,** replieil the man, civilly. ** It was here long 
afore I war born, or any on us." 

Mr. Pickwick glanced triumphantly at his companion. 

'* You — you — are not particularly attached to it, 1 dare say," said Mr. 
Pickwick, trembling with anxiety. '* You wouldn't mind selling it, 

HOW .'' 

" Ah ! but who'd buy it? " inquired the man, with an expression of 
face which he probably meant to be very cunning. 

" I'll give you ten shillings for it, at once/' said Mr. Pickwick, " if 
you woulil take it up for me." 

The astonishment of the village may he easily imagined, when (the 
little stone having been raised with one wrench of a spade), Mr. Pick- 
wick, by dint of great personal exertion, bore it with his own hands to 
the inn, and after having carefully washed it, deposited it on the table. 

The exultation and joy of the Pickwickians knew no bounds, when 
their patience and assiduity, their vviii>hing and scraping, were crowned 
with success. The stone was uneven and broken, and the letters were 
straggling and irregular, but the following fragment of an inscription 
was clearly to be deciphered : 


B I L S T 

U M 

P S H I 

S. M. 


Mr. Pickwick's eyes sparkled with delight, as he sat and gloated over 
the treasure he had discovered. He had attained one of the greatest 
objects of his ambition. In a county known to abound in remains of 
the early ages ; in a village in which there still existed some memorials 
of the olden time, he — he, the Chairman of the Pickwick Club — had 
discovered a strange and curious inscription of unquestionable antiquity , 
which had wholly escaped the observation of the many learned men 
who had preceded him. He could hardly trust the evidence of his 

"This — this," said he, *Sleteimines me. We return to town, to- 

»* To-morrow I " exclairaetl his admiring followers 

" To-morrow," said Mr. Pickwick. *' This treasure must be at once 
deposited where it can be thoroughly investigated, and properly under- 
stood. I have another reason for this step. In a few days, an election 
is to take place for the borough of Eatunswill, at which Mr. Perker, a 
gentleman whom I lately met, is the age ut of one of the candidates. 


We will heboid, and minutely examine, a »cer\e so interesting to every 

" We will/' was the animated cry of three voices. 

Mr. Pickwick looked round him. The attachment and fervour of 
Iiis followers, lighted up a glow of enthusiasm within him. He was 
their leader, and he felt it. 

" Let us celebrate this happy meeting, with a convivial glass,'* said he. 
This proposition, like the other, was received with unanimous applause. 
And having himself deposited the important stone in a small deal box, 
purchased from the landlady for the purpose, he placed himself in an 
arm-chair at the head of the table ; and the evening was devoted to 
festivity and conversation. 

It was past eleven o'clock — a late hour for the little village of Cob- 
ham — when Mr. Pickwick retired to the bed-room which had been 
prepared for his reception. He threw open the lattice-window, and 
setting his light upon the table, fell into a train of meditation on the 
hurried events of the two preceding days. 

The hour and the place were both favourable to contemplation ; Mr. 
Pickwick was roused, by the church-clock striking twelve. The first 
stroke of the hour sounded solemnly in his ear, but when the bell ceased 
the stillness seemed insupportable ; — he almost felt as if he had lost a 
companion. He. was nervous and excited ; and hastily undressing him- 
self, and placing his light in the chimney, got into bed. 

Everj'^ one has experienced that disagreeable state of mind, in which 
a sensation of bodily weariness in vain contends against an inability to 
sleep. It was Mr. Pickwick's condition at this moment : he tossed first 
on one side and then on the other; and perseveringly closed his eyes 
as if to coax himself to slumber. It was of no use. Whether it was 
the unwonted exertion he had undergone, or the heat, or the brandy 
and water, or the strange bed — whatever it v/as, his thoughts kept 
reverting very uncomfortably to the grim pictures down stairs, and the 
old stories to which they had given rise in the course of the evening. 
After half an hour's tumbling about, he came to the unsatisfactory con- 
clusion, that it was of no use trying to sleep ; so he got up and partially 
dressed himself. Anything, he thought, was better than lying there 
fancying all kinds of horrors. He looked out of the window — it was 
very dark. He walked about the room — it was very lonely. 

He had taken a few turns from the door to the window, and from the 
window to the door, when the clergyman's manuscript for the first time 
entered his head. It was a good thought. If it failed to interest him, 
it might send him to sleep. He took it from his coat-pocket, and 
drawing a small table towards his bed-side, trimmed the light, put on 
his spectacles, and composed himself to read. It was a strange hand- 
writing, and the paper was much soiled and blotted. The title gave 
him a sadden start, too; and he could not avoid casting a wistful glance 
round the room. Reflecting on the absurdity of giving way to such 
feelings, however, he trimmed the light again, and read as follows: 




" Yes ! — ft madman's ! How that word would hiive struck to my 
heart, many years ago I How it would have roused tlie terror that used 
to come upon me sometimes; sending the blood hissing and tingling- 
through my veins, 'till the cold dew of fear stood in large drops upon 
my skin, and my knees knocked together with fright I 1 like it now 
though. It's a fine niinie. Shew me the monarch whose angry frown 
was ever feared like the glare of a madman's eye — whoso cord and axe, 
were ever half so sure as a madman's gripe. Hoi hoi It's a grand 
thing to be mad I to be peeped at like a wild lion through the iron 
bars — to gnash one's teeth and howl, through the long f^till night, to the 
merry ring of a heavy chain — and to roll and twine among the straw, 
transported with such brave music. Hurrah for the madhouse I Oh 
t's a rare place ! 

" 1 reraembec days when I was afraid of being mad ; when I used to 
start from my sleep, and fall upon my knees, and pray to be spared 
from the curse of my race ; when I rushed from the sight of merriment 
or happiness, to hide myself in some lonely place, and spend the weary 
hours in watching the progress of the fever that was to consume my 
brain. I knew that madness was mixed up with my very blood, and the 
marrow of my bones ; that one generation had passed away without the 
pestilence appearing among them, and that I was the first in whom it 
would revive. I knew it mttst he so : that so it always had been, and 
io it ever would be ; and when I cowered in some obscure corner of a 
crowded room, and saw men whisper, and point, and turn their eyes 
towards me, I knew they were telling each other of the doomed mad- 
man ; and I slunk away again to mope in solitude. 

'* I did this for years ; long, long years they were. The nights here 
are long sometimes — very long ; but they are nothing to the restless 
nights, and dreadful dreams I had at that time. It makes me cold to 
remember them. Large dusky forms with sly and jeering faces 
crouched in the corners of the room, and bent over my bed at night, 
tempting me to madness. They told me in low whispers, that the 
floor of the old house in which my father's father died, was stained with 
his own blood, shed by his own hand in raging madness. I drove my 
fingers into my ears, but they screamed into my head till the room 
rang with it, that in one generation before him the madness slumbered, 
but that his grandfather had lived for years with his hands fettered to 
the ground, to prevent his tearing himself to pieces. I knew they told 
the truth — I knew it well. I had found it out years before, though 
they had tried to keep it from me. Ha ! ha I I was too cunning for 
them, madman as they thought me. 

** At last it came upon me, and I wondered how I could ever have 
feared it. I could go into the world now, and laugh and shout with the 
best among them. I knew I was mad, but they did not even suspect 
it. How I used to hug myself with delight, when I thought of the 
fine trick I was playing them after their old pointing and leering, when 


I was not mad, but only dreading- that I might one day become so I 
And how I used to laugh for joy, when I was alone, and thought how 
well I kept ray secret, and how quickly my kind friends would have 
fallen from me, if they had known the truth. I could have screamed 
with ecstacy when I dined alone with some tine roaring fellow, to think 
how pale he would have turned, and how fast he would have run, if he 
had known that the dear friend who sat close to him, sharpening a 
bright glittering knife, was a madman with all the power, and half the 
will, to plunge it in his heart. Oh, it was a merry life I 

" Riches became mine, wealth poured in upon me, and I rioted in 
pleasures enhanced a thousand fold to me by the consciousness of my 
well-kept secret. I inherited an estate. The law — the eagle-eyed 
law itself, had been deceived, and had handed over disputed thousands to 
a madman's hands. Where was the wit of the sharp-sighted men of 
sound mind ? Where the dexterity of the lawyers, eager to discover a 
flaw ? The madman's cunning had over-reached them all. 

" I had money. How I was courted ! I spent it profusely. How I 
was praised ! How those three proud overbearing brothers humbled 
themselves before me ! The old white-headed father, too— such 
deference — such respect — such devoted friendship — why he worshipped 
me. The old man had a daughter, and the young men a sister; and 
all the five were poor. I was rich ; and when I married the girl, I saw 
a smile of triumph play upon the faces of her needy relatives, as they 
thought of their well-planned scheme, and their fine prize. It was for 
me to smile. To smile ! To laugh outright, and tear my hair, and 
roll upon the ground with shrieks of merriment. They little thought 
they had married her to a madman. 

" Stay. If they had known it, would they have saved her ? A sister's 
aappiness against her husband's gold. The lightest feather I blow into 
ihe air, against the gay chain that ornaments my body ! 

" In one thing I was deceived with all my cunning. If I had not been 
mad — for though we madmen are sharp-witted enough, we get bewil- 
dered sometimes — I should have known that the girl would rather 
have been placed, stiff and cold in a dull leaden coffin, than borne an 
envied bride to my rich, glittering, house. I should have known that 
her heart was with the dark-eyed boy whose name I once heard her 
breathe in her troubled sleep ; and that she had been sacrificed to me, 
to relieve the poverty of the old white-headed man, and the haughty 

" I don't remember forms or faces now, but I know the girl was 
beautiful. I know she was ; for in the bright moonlight nights, when 
I start up from my sleep, and all is quiet about me, I see, standing still 
and motionless in one corner of this cell, a slight and wasted figure with 
long black hair, which streaming down her back, stirs with no earthly 
wind, and eyes that fix their gaze on me, and never wink or close. 
Hush ! the blood chills at my heart as I write it down — that form is 
hers ; the face is very pale, and the eyes are glassy bright ; but I know 
them well. That figure never moves; it never frowns and mouths as 
others do, that fill this place sometimes ; but it is much more dreadful 


to me, even than the spirits ^hat tempted me many years ago — it 
comes fresh from the grave ; and is so very death-like. 

" For nearly a year I saw that face grow paler ; for nearly a year, I 
saw the tears steal down the mournful cheeks, and never knew the 
cause. I found it out at last though. They could not keep it from 
me long. She had never liked me ; I had never thought she did : she 
despised my wealth, and hated the splendour in which she lived ; — I 
had not expected that. She loved another. This I had never thought 
of. Strange feelings came over me, and thoughts forced upon me by 
some secret power, whirled round and round my brain. I did not hate 
ber, though I hated the boy she still wept for. I pitied — yes, I pitied — 
the wretched life to which her cold and selfish relations had doomed 
her. I knew that she could not live long, but the thought that before 
her death she might give birth to some ill-fated being, destined to hand 
down madness to its offspring, determined me. I resolved to kill her. 

" For many weeks I thought of poison, and then of drowning, and then 
of fire. A fine sight the grand house in flames, and the madman's 
wife smouldering away to cinders. Think of the jest of a large reward, 
too, and of some sane man swinging in the wind for a deed he never 
did, and ail through a madman's cunning ! I thought often of this, but 
I gave it up at last. Oh ! the pleasure of stropping the razor day after 
day, feeling the sharp edge, and thinking of the gash one stroke of its 
thin bright point would make ! 

" At last the old spirits who had been with me so often before, whis- 
pered in my ear that the time was come, and thrust the open razor into 
my hand. I grasped it firmly, rose softly from the bed, and leaned 
over my sleeping wife. Her face was buried in her hands. I withdrew 
them softly, and they fell listlessly on her bosom. She had been weep- 
ing ; for the traces of the tears were still wet upon her cheek. Her face 
was calm and placid ; and even as I looked upon it, a tranquil smile lighted 
up her pale features. I laid my hand softly on her shoulder. She 
started — it was only a passing dream. I leant forward again. She 
screamed, and woke. 

" One motion of my hand, and she would never again have uttered cry 
or sound. But I was startled, and drew back. Her eyes were fixed 
on mine. I know not how it was, but they cowed and frightened me ; 
and I quailed beneath them. She rose from the bed, still gazing fixedly 
and steadily on me. I trembled; the razor was in my hand, but I 
could not move. She made towards the door. As she neared it, she 
turned, and withdrew her eyes from my face. The spell was broken. 
I bounded forward, and clutched her by the arm. Uttering shriek upon 
shriek, she sunk upon the ground. 

" Now I could have killed her without a struggle ; but the house was 
alarmed. I heard the tread of footsteps on the stairs. I replaced the 
razor in its usual drawer, unfastened the door, and called loudly for 

" They came, and raised her, and placed her on the bed. She lay 
l)ereft of animation for hours ; and when life, look, and speech returned, 
her senses had deserted her, and she raved wildly and furiously. 


" Doctors were called in — great men ^^llo rolled up to my door in easy 
carnages, with fine horses and gaudy servants. They were at her bed- 
side for weeks. They had a great meeting, and consulted together in 
low and solemn voices in another room. One, the cleverest and most 
celebrated among them, took me aside, and bidding me prepare for the 
worst, told me — me, the madman I — that my wife was mad. He stood 
close beside me at an open window, his eyes looking in my face, and his 
hand laid upon my arm. With one effort, I could have hurled him 
into the street beneath. It would have been rare sport to have done 
it; but ray secret was at stake, and I let him go. A few days after, 
they told me I must place her under some restraint : I must provide a 
keeper for her. //I went into the open fields where none could hear 
me, and laughed till the air resounded with my shouts ! 

" She died next day. The white-headed old man followed her to the 
grave, and the proud brothers dropped a tear over the insensible corpse 
of her, whose sufferings they had regarded in her life-time with muscles 
of iron. All this was food for my secret mirth, and I laughed behind 
the white handkerchief which I held up to my face, as we rode home, 
'till the tears came into my eyes. 

" But though I had carried my object and killed her, I was restless 
and disturbed, and I felt that before long, my secret must be known. 
I could not hide the wild mirth and joy which boiled within me, and 
made me when I was alone, at home, jump up and beat my hands 
together, and dance round and round, and roar aloud. When I went 
out, and saw the busy crowds hurrying about the streets : or to the 
theatre, and heard the sound of music, and beheld the people dancing, 
I felt such glee, that I could have rushed among them, and torn them 
to pieces limb from limb, and howled in transport. But I ground my 
teeth, and struck my feet upon the floor, and drove my sharp nails into 
my hands. I kept it down ; and no one knew I was a madman yet. 

" I remember — though it's one of the last things I can remember : for 
now I mix realities with my dreams, and having so much to do, and 
being always hurried here, have no time to separate the two, from some 
strange confusion in which they get involved — I remember how I let it 
out at last. Ha ! ha ! I think I see their frightened looks now, and 
feel the ease with which I flung them from me, and dashed my clenched 
fist into their white faces, and then flew like the wind, and left them 
screaming and shouting far behind. The strength of a giant comes 
upon me when I think of it. There — see how this iron bar bends 
beneath my furious wrench. I could snap it like a twig, only there are 
long galleries here with many doors — I don't think I could find my way 
along them : and even if I could, I know there are iron gates below 
which they keep locked and barred. They know what a clever madman 
I have been, and they are proud to have me here, to show. 

'' Let me see ; — yes, I had been out. It was late at night when I 
reached home, and found the proudest of the three proud brothers, wait- 
ing to see me — urgent business he said : I recollect it well. 1 hated 
that man with all a madman's hate. Many and many a time had my 
fingers longed to tear him. They told me he was there. I ran swiftly 



lip stairs. He had a word to say to me. I dismissed tlie servants. It 
was late, and we i\ere alone together— ^/br the Jirst time, 

*' I kept v\y eyes carefully from him at first, for I knew what he little 
thought — and I gloried in the knowledge — that the lig-ht of madness 
gleamed from them like fire. We sat in silence for a few minutes. He 
spoke at last. My recent dissipation, and strange remarks, made so 
soon after his sister's death, were an insult to her memory. Coupling 
together many circumstances which had at first escaped his observa- 
tion, he thought I had not treated her well. He wished to know 
whether he was right in inferring that I meant to cast a reproach upon 
her memory, and a disrespect upon her family. It was due to the uni- 
form he wore, to demand this explanation. 

" This man had a commission in the army — a commission, purchased 
with my money, and his sister's misery. This was the man who had 
been foremost in the plot to ensnare me, and grasp my wealth. This 
was the man who had been the main instrument in forcing his sister to 
wed me ; well knowing that her heart was given to that puling boy. 
Due ! Due to his uniform I The livery of his degradation ! I turned 
my eyes upon him — I could not help it — but I spoke not a word. 

" I saw the sudden change that came upon him, beneath ray gaze. 
He was a bold man, but the colour faded from his face, and he drew 
back his chair. I dragged mine nearer to him ; and as I laughed — 
I was very merry then — I saw him shudder. I felt the madness rising 
within me. He was afraid of me. 

" * You were very fond of your sister when she was alive* — I said — 
* Very.' 

'* He looked uneasily round him, and I saw his hand grasp the back 
of his chair : but he said nothing. 

" * You villain,' said I, * I found you out ; I discovered your hellish 
plots against me ; I know her heart was fixed on some one else before 
you compelled her to marry me. I know it — I know it.' 

*' He jumped suddenly from his chair, brandished it aloft, and bid me 
stand back — for I took care to be getting closer to him, all the time I 

'' I screamed rather than talked, for I felt tumultuous passions eddying 
through my veins, and the old spirits whispering and taunting me to 
tear his heart out. 

" * Damn you,' said I, starting up, and rushing upon him ; * I killed 
her. I am a madman. Down with you. Blood, blood, I will have it.' 

" I turned aside with one blow, the chair he hurled at me in his terror, 
and closed with him ; and with a heavy crash, we rolled upon the floor 

" It was a fine struggle that, for he was a tall strongman, fighting for 
his life ; and I, a powerful madman, thirsting to destroy him. I knew 
no strength could equal mine, and I was right. Right, again, though a 
madman I His struggles grew fainter. I knelt upon his chest, and 
clasped his brawny throat, firmly with both hands. His face grew 
purple ; his eyes were starting from his head, and with protruded 
tongue, he seemed to mock me. I squeezed the tighter. 


" The door was suddenly burst open with a loud noise, and a crowd 
of people rushed forward, crying aloud to each other, to secure the 

" My secret was out ; and my only struggle now, was for liberty and 
freedom. I gained my feet before a hand was on me, threw myself 
among my assailants, and cleared my way with my strong arm as if I 
bore a hatchet in my hand, and hewed them down before me. I gained 
the door, dropped over the banisters, and in an instant was in the 

" Straight and swift I ran, and no one dared to stop me. I heard the 
noise of feet behind, and redoubled my speed. It grew fainter and 
fainter in the distance, and at length died away altogether : but on I 
bounded, through marsh and rivulet, over fence and wall, with a wild 
shout which was taken up by the strange beings that flocked around me 
on every side, and swelled the sound, till it pierced the air. I was borne 
upon the arms of demons who swept along upon the wind, and bore 
down bank and hedge before them, and spun me round and round with 
a rustle and a speed that made my head swim, until at last they threw 
me from them with a violent shock, and I fell heavily upon the 
earth. When I woke I found myself here — here in this gay cell where 
the sun-light seldom comes, and the moon steals in, in rays which only 
serve to show the dark shadows about me, and that silent figure in its 
old corner. When I lie awake, I can sometimes hear strange shrieks 
and cries from distant parts of this large place. What they are, I know 
not ; but they neither come from that pale form, nor does it regard 
them. For from the first shades of dusk 'till the earliest light of morn- 
ing, it still stands motionless in the same place, listening to the music 
of my iron chain, and watching my gambols on my straw bed." 

At the end of the manuscript, was written, in another hand, this 
note : — 

[The unhappy man whose ravings are recorded above, was a melan- 
choly instance of the baneful results of energies misdirected in early 
life, and excesses prolonged until their consequences could never be 
repaired. The thoughtless riot, dissipation, and debauchery of his 
younger days, produced fever and delirium. The first effects of the 
latter, was the strange delusion, founded upon a well-known medical 
theory, strongly contended for by some, and as strongly contested by 
others, that an hereditary madness existed in his family. This produced 
a settled gloom, which in time developed a morbid insanity, and finally 
terminated in raving madness. There is every reason to believe that 
the events he detailed, though distorted in the description by his 
diseased imagination, really happened. It is only matter of wonder to 
those who were acquainted with the vices of his early career, that his 
passions, when no longer controulled by reason, did not lead him to 
the commission of still more frightful deeds.] 

Mr. Pickwick's candle was just expiring in the socket, as he con- 
cluded the perusal of the old clergyman's manuscript ; and when the 
light went suddenly out, without any previous flicker by way of warning, 


it communicated a very considerable start to his excited frame. Hastily 
throwing off such articles of clothings as he had put on when he rose 
from his uneasy bed, and casting- a fearful glance around, he once more 
scrambled hastily between the sheets, and soon fell fast asleep. 

The sun was shining brilliantly into his chamber when he awoke, 
and the morning was far advanced. The gloom which had oppressed 
him on the previous night, had disappeared with the dark shadows 
which shrouded the landscape, and his thoughts and feelings were as 
light and gay as the morning itself. After a hearty breakfast, the 
four gentlemen sallied forth to walk to Gravesend, followed by a man 
bearing the stone in its deal box. They reached that town about one 
o'clock, (their luggage they had directed to be forwarded to the City, 
from Rochester,) and being fortunate enough to secure places on the 
outside of a coach, arrived in London in sound health and spirits, on 
that same afternoon. 

The next three or four days were occupied with the preparations 
which were necessary for their journey to the borough of Eatanswill. 
As any reference to that most important undertaking demands a sepa- 
rate chapter, we may devote the few lines which remain at the close of 
this, to narrate, with great brevity, the history of the antiquarian dis- 

It appears from the Transactions of the Club, then, that Mr. Pick- 
wick lectured upon the discovery at a General Club Meeting, convened 
on the night succeeding their return, and entered into a variety of 
ingenious and erudite speculations on the meaning of the inscription. 
It also appears that a skilful artist executed a faithful delineation of the 
curiosity, which was engraven on stone, and presented to the Royal 
Antiquarian Society, and other learned bodies — that heart-burnings and 
jealousies without number, were created by rival controversies which 
were penned upon the subject — and that Mr. Pickwick himself wrote a 
Pamphlet, containing ninety-six pages of very small print, and twenty- 
seven different readings of the inscription. That three old gentlemen 
cut off their eldest sons with a shilling a- piece for presuming to doubt 
the antiquity of the fragment — and that one enthusiastic individual cut 
himself off prematurely, in despair at being unable to fathom its 
meaning. That Mr. Pickwick was elected an honorary member of 
seventeen native and foreign societies, for making the discovery ; that 
none of the seventeen could ibake anything of it, but that all the 
seventeen agreed it was very extraordinary. 

Mr. Blotton, indeed — and the name will be doomed to the undying 
contempt of those who cultivate the mysterious and the sublime — Mr. 
BlottDn, we say, with the doubt and cavilling peculiar to vulgar minds, 
presumed to state a view of the case, as degrading as ridiculous. Mr. 
Blotton, with a mean desire to tarnish the lustre of the immortal name 
of Pickwick, actually undertook a journey to Cobham in person, and 
on his return, sarcastically observed in an oration at the club, that he 
had seen the man from whom the stone was purchased ; that the man 
presumed the stone to be ancient, but solemnly denied the antiquity 
of the inscription — inasmuch as he represented it to have beeu rudely 



carved by himself in an idle mood, and to display letters intended to 
bear neither more nor less than the simple construction of—" Bill 
Stumps, his mark :" and that Mr. Stumps, being little in the habit of 
original composition, and more accustomed to be guided by the sound 
of words than by the strict rules of orthography, had omitted the con- 
cluding " L " of his christian name. 

The Pickwick Club, as might have been expected from so enlight- 
ened an Institution, received this statement with the contempt it 
deserved, expelled the presumptuous and ill-conditioned Blotton from 
the society, and voted Mr. Pickwick a pair of gold spectacles, in 
token of their confidence and approbation ; in return for which, Mr. 
Pickwick caused a portrait of himself to be painted, and hung up in 
the club-room — which portrait, by the by, he did not wish to have 
destroyed when he grew a few years older. 

Mr. Blotton was ejected but not conquered. He also wrote a 
pamphlet, addressed to the seventeen learned societies, containing a 
repetition of the statement he had already made, and rather more than 
half intimating his opinion that the seventeen learned societies afore- 
said, were so many " humbugs." Hereupon the virtuous indignation 
of the seventeen learned societies being roused, several fresh pamphlets 
appeared ; the foreign learned societies corresponded with the native 
learned societies, the native learned societies translated the pamphlets 
of the foreign learned societies into English, the foreign learned 
societies translated the pamphlets of the native learned societies into 
all sorts of languages : and thus commenced that celebrated scientific 
discussion so well known to all men, as the Pickwick controversy. 

But this base attempt to injure Mr. Pickwick, recoiled upon the head 
of its calumnious author. The seventeen learned societies unanimously 
voted the presumptuous Blotton an ignorant meddler ; and forthwith 
*et to work upon more treatises than ever. And to this day the stone 
remains an illegible monument of Mr. Pickwick's greatness, and a lasting 
trophy of the littleness of his enemies. 




Mr. Pickwick's apartments in Goswell Street, although on a 
limited scale, were not only of a very neat and comfortable description, 
but peculiarly adapted for the residence of a man of his genius and 
observation. His sitting-room was the first floor front, his bed-room 
the second floor front; and thus, whether he were sitting at his desk in 
the parlour, or standing before the dressing-glass in his dormitory, he 
had an equal opportunity of contemplating human nature in all the 
numerous phases it exhibits, in that not more populous than popular 
thoroughfare. His landlady, Mrs. Bardell — the relict and sole executrix 
of a deceased custom-house officer — was a comely woman of bustling 
manners and agreeable appearance, with a natural genius for cooking, 
improved by study and long practice into an exquisite talent. There 
were no children, no servants, no fowls. The only other inmates of the 
house were a large man, and a small boy ; the first a lodger, the second 
a production of Mrs. Bardell's. The large man was always home pre- 
cisely at ten o'clock at night, at which hour he regularly condensed 
himself into the limits of a dwarfish French bedstead in the back par- 
lour; and the infantine sports and gymnastic exercises of Master 
Bardell were exclusively confined to the neighbouring pavements and 
gutters. Cleanliness and quiet reigned throughout the house ; and in it 
Mr. Pickwick's will was law. 

To any one acquainted with these points of the domestic economy of 
the establishment, and conversant with the admirable regulation of Mr. 
Pickwick's mind, his appearance and behaviour on the morning previous 
to that which had been fixed upon for the journey to Eatanswill, would 
have been most mysterious and unaccountable. He paced the room to 
and fro with hurried steps, popped his head out of the window at 
intervals of about three minutes each, constantly referred to his watch, 
and exhibit-ed many other manifestations of impatience, very unusual 
with him. It was evident that something of great importance was in 
contemplation, but what that something was not even Mrs. Bardell 
herself had beeu enabled to discover. 

" Mrs. Bardell," said Mr. Pickwick at last, as that amiable female 
approached the termination of a prolonged dusting of the apartment — 

" Sir," said Mrs. Bardell. 

" Your little boy is a very long time gone." 

*' Why it's a good long way to the Borough, Sir," remonstrated Mrs. 



" Ah," said Mr. Pickwick, " very true ; so it is." 

Mr. Pickwick relapsed into silence, and Mrs. Bardell resumed her 

" Mrs. Bardell," said Mr. Pickwick, at the expira^^ion of a few 

" Sir," said Mrs. Bardell again. 

" Do you think it's a much greater expense to keep two people, 
than to keep one ? " 

" La, Mr. Pickwick," said Mrs. Bardell, colouring up to the very 
border of her cap, as she fancied she observed a species of matrimo- 
nial twinkle in the eyes of her lodger ; " La, Mr. Pickwick, what a 
question ! " 

" Well, but do you ? " inquired Mr. Pickwick. 

" That depends — " said Mrs. Bardell, approaching the duster very 
near to Mr. Pickwick's elbow, which was planted on the table ; " that 
depends a good deal upon the person, you know, Mr. Pickwick ; and 
whether it's a saving and careful person. Sir." 

" That's very true," said Mr. Pickwick, " but the person I have in 
my eye (here he looked very hard at Mrs. Bardell) I think possesses 
these qualities ; and has, moreover, a considerable knowledge of the 
world, and a great deal of sharpness, Mrs. Bardell ; which may be of 
material use to me." 

" La, Mr. Pickwick," said Mrs. Bardell ; the crimson rising to her 
cap-border again. 

" I do," said Mr. Pickwick, growing energetic, as was his wont in 
speaking of a subject which interested him, " I do, indeed ; and to tell you 
the truth, Mrs. Bardell, I have made up my mind." 

" Dear me, Sir," exclaimed Mrs. Bardell. 

" You'll think it very strange now," said the amiable Mr. Pickwick, 
with a good-humoured glance at his companion, " that I never consulted 
you about this matter, and never even mentioned it, till I sent your 
little boy out this morning — eh ? " 

Mrs. Bardell could only reply by a look. She had long worshipped 
Mr. Pickwick at a distance, but here she was, all at once, raised to a 
pinnacle to which her wildest and most extravagant hopes had never 
dared to aspire. Mr. Pickwick was going to propose — a deliberate 
plan, too — sent her little boy to the Borough, to get him out of the 
way — how thoughtful — how considerate I 

" Well," said Mr. Pickwick, " what do you think ? *' 

« Oh, Mr. Pickwick," said Mrs. Bardell, trembling with agitation, 
'• you're very kind. Sir." 

" It'll save you a good deal of trouble, won't it ? ** said Mr. Pickwick. 

" Oh, I never thought anything of the trouble. Sir," replied Mrs. | 
Bardell ; " and, of course, I should take more trouble to please you then, 
than ever; but it is so kind of you, Mr. Pickwick, to have so much 
consideration for my loneliness." 

" Ah, to be sure," said Mr. Pickwick ; *' I never thought of that. 
When I am in town, you'll always have somebody to sit with you. Taj 
be sure, so you will." 



" I 'm sure I ought to be a very happy woman," said Mrs. Bardeli, 

" And your little boy — " said Mr. Pickwick. 

" Bless his heart," interposed Mrs. Bardeli, with a maternal sob. 

" He, too, will have a companion," resumed Mr. Pickwick, *'a lively 
one, who'll teach him, I'll be bound, more tricks in a week, than he 
would ever learn in a year." And Mr. Pickwick smiled placidly. 

" Oh you dear — " said Mrs. Bardeli. 

Mr. Pickwict started. 

" Oh you kind, good, playful dear," said Mrs. Bardeli ; and without 
more ado, she rose from her chair, and flung her arms round Mr. Pick- 
wick's neck, with a cataract of tears, and a chorus of sobs. 

*' Bless my soul," cried the astonished Mr. Pickwick ; — " Mrs. Bardeli 
my good woman — dear me, what a situation — pray consider. — Mrs. 
Bardeli, don't — if anybody should come — " 

" Oh, let them come," exclaimed Mrs. Bardeli, frantically ; *' I'll 
never leave you— rdear, kind, good, soul ;" and, with these words, Mrs. 
Bardeli clung the tighter. 

" Mercy upon me,*' said Mr. Pickwick, struggling violently, " I hear 
somebody coming up the stairs. Don't,, don't, there's a good creature, 
don't." But entreaty and remonstrance were alike unavailing : for Mrs. 
Bardeli had fainted in Mr. Pickwick's arms ; and before he could gain 
time to deposit her on a chair. Master Bardeli entered the room, ushering 
in Mr. Tupman, Mr. Winkle, and Mr. Snodgrass. 

Mr. Pickwick was struck motionless and speechless. He stood with 
his lovely burden in his arms, gazing vacantly on the countenances of 
his friends, without the slighest attempt at recognition or explanation. 
They, in their turn, stared at him ; and Master Bardeli, in his turn, 
stared at everybody. 

The astonishment of the Pickwickians was so absorbing, and the per- 
plexity of Mr. Pickwick was so extreme, that they might have remained 
in exactly the same relative situations until the suspended animation of 
the lady was restored, had it not been for a most beautiful and touching 
expression of filial affection on the part of her youthful son. Clad in a 
tight suit of corderoy, spangled with brass buttons of a very considerable 
size, he at first stood at the door astounded and uncertain ; but by 
degrees, the impression that his mother must have suffered some per- 
sonal damage, pervaded his partially developed mind, and considering 
Mr. Pickwick as the aggressor, he set up an appalling and semi-earthly 
kind of howling, and butting forward with his head, commenced assailing 
that immortal gentleman about the back and legs, with such blows and 
pinches as the strength of his arm, and the violence of his excitement, 

" Take this little villain away," said the agonised Mr. Pickwick, 
« he's mad." 

" What is the matter ? " said the three tongue-tied Pickwickians. 

" I don't know," replied Mr. Pickwick, pettishly. " Take away the 
boy — (here Mr. Winkle carried the interesting boy, screaming and 
struggling, to the further end of the apartment). — Now help me, lead 
this woman down stairs." 

M 2 



" Oh, I am better now," said Mrs. Bardell, faintly. 

" Let me lead you down stairs/' said the ever gallant Mr. Tupman. 

" Thank you, Sir — thank you ; " exclaimed Mrs. Bardell, hysterically 
And down stairs she was led accordingly, accompanied by her aifectJonate 

" I cannot conceive — " said Mr. Pickwick, when his friend returned 
— " I cannot conceive what has been the matter with that woman. I 
had merely announced to her my intention of keeping- a man servant, 
when she fell into the extraordinary paroxysm in which you found her. 
Very extraordinary thing." 

ii Very," said his three friends. 

** Placed me in such an extremely awkward situation," continued 
Mr. Pickwick. 

" Very ; " was the reply of his followers, as they coughed slightly, 
and looked dubiously at each other. 

This behaviour was not lost upon Mr. Pickwick. He remarked their 
incredulity. They evidently suspected him. 

" There is a man in the passage now," said Mr. Tupman. 

" It's the man I spoke to you about," said Mr. Pickwick, ^' I sent for 
him to the Borough this morning. Have the goodness to call him up, 

Mr. Snodgrass did as he was desired ; and Mr. Samuel Weller forth- 
with presented himself. 

*' Oh — you remember me, I suppose ? " said Mr. Pickwick. 

" I should think so," replied Sam, with a patronising wink. " Queer 
start that *ere, but he was one too many for you, warn't he ? Up to 
$nuff and a pinch or two over — eh? " 

" Never mind that matter now," said Mr. Pickwick hastily, " I want 
to speak to you about something else. Sit down." 

*' Thank'ee, Sir," said Sam. And down he sat without farther bid- 
dmg, having previously deposited his old white hat on the landing 
outside the door. " Ta'nt a werry good 'un to look at," said Sam, 
" but it's an astonishin' 'un to wear ; and afore the brim went, it was a 
wery handsome tile. Hows'ever it's lighter without it, that's one thing, 
and every hole lets in some air, that's another — wentilation gossamer I 
calls it." On the delivery of this sentiment, Mr. Weller smiled 
agreeably upon the assembled Pickwickians. 

" Now with regard to the matter on which I, with the concurrence of 
these gentlemen, sent for you," said Mr. Pickwick. 

" That's the pint, Sir," interposed Sam ; " out vith it, as the father 
said to the child, ven he swallowed a farden." 

" We want to know, in the first place," said Mr. Pickwick, "whether 
you have any reason to be discontented with your present situation." 

" Afore I answers that 'ere question, gen'l'm'n," replied Mr. Weller, 
'• /should Hke to know, in the first place, whether you're a goin' to 
purwide me vith a better." 

A sunbeam of placid benevolence played on Mr. Pickwick's features 
as he said, " I have half made up my mind to engage you myself." 

" Have you, though ? " said Sam. 


Mr. Pickwick nodded in the aflirmative. 

" Wages ? " inquired Sam. 

'* Twelve pounds a year," replied Mr. Pickwick. 

" Clothes ? " 

" Two suits." 

" Work?" 

'' To attend upon me ; and travel about with me and these gentlemen 
here." " 

" Take the bill down," said Sam, emphatically. *• Pm let to a single 
gentleman, and the terms is agreed upon." 

" You accept the situation ? " inquired Mr. Pickwick. 

" Cert'nly," rephed Sam. " If the clothes tits me half as well as the 
place, they'll do." 

" You can get a character of course ? " said Mr. Pickwick. 

" Ask the landlady o' the White Hart about that, Sir," replied Sara. 

" Can you come this evening ? " 

" Pll get into the clothes this minute, if they're here," said Sam with 
great alacrity. 

" Call at eight this evening," said Mr. Pickwick ; and if the inquiries 
are satisfactory, they shall be provided." 

With the single exception of one amiable indiscretion, in which an 
assistant housemaid had equally participated, the history of Mr. W^eller's 
conduct was so very blameless, that Mr. Pickwick felt fully justified in 
closing the engagement that very evening. With the promptness and 
energy which characterised not only the public proceedings, but all the 
private actions of this extraordinary man, he at once led his new 
attendant to one of those convenient emporiums where gentlemen's 
new and second-hand clothes are provided, and the troublesome and 
inconvenient formality of measurement dispensed with ; and before 
night had closed in, Mr. Weller was furnished with a grey coat with the 
* p. c' button, a black hat with a cockade to it, a pink striped waistcoat, 
light breeches and gaiters, and a variety of other necessaries, too 
numerous to recapitulate. 

" Well," said that suddenly-transformed individual, as he took his seat 
on the outside of the Eatanswill coach next morning ; " I wonder 
vether Pm meant to be a footman, or a groom, or a game-keeper, or a 
seedsman. I looks like a sort of compo of every one on 'em. Never 
mind ; there's change of air, plenty to see, and little to do ; and all this 
suits my complaint uncommon, so long life to the Pickvicks, says I." 

120 vosTnuMous i'apkks of 



We will frankly acknowledge, that up to the period of our being first 
immersed in the voluminous papers of the Pickwick club, we had never 
heard of Eatanswill ; we will with equal candour admit, that we have in 
vain searched for proof of the actual existence of such a place at the 
present day. Knowing the deep reliance to be placed on every note and 
statement of Mr. Pickwick's, and not presuming to set up our recollec- 
tion against the recorded declarations of that great man, we have 
consulted every authority, bearing upon the subject, to which we could 
possibly refer. We have traced every name in schedules A and B, 
without meeting with that of Eatanswill ; we have minutely examined 
every corner of the Pocket County Maps issued for the benefit of 
society by our distinguished publishers, and the same result has 
attended our investigation. We are therefore led to believe, that Mr. 
Pickwick, with that anxious desire to abstain from giving offence to any, 
and with those delicate feelings for which all who knew him well know 
he was so eminently remarkable, purposely substituted a fictitious desig- 
nation, for the real name of the place in which his observations were 
made. We are confirmed in this belief by a little circumstance, appa- 
rently slight and trivial in itself, but when considered in this point of 
view, not undeserving of notice. In Mr. Pickwick's note-book, we can 
just trace an entry of the fact, that the places of himself and followers 
were booked by the Norwich coach ; but this entry was afterwards lined 
through, as if for the purpose of concealing even the direction in which 
the borough is situated. We will not, therefore, hazard a guess upon 
the subject, but will at once proceed with this history ; content with the 
materials which its characters have provided for us. 

It appears, then, that the Eatanswill people, like the people of many 
other small towns, considered themselves of the utmost and most mighty 
importance, and that every man in Eatanswill, conscious of the weight 
that attached to his example, felt himself bound to unite, heart and soul, 
with one of the two great parties that divided the town — the Blues and 
the Buffs. Now the Blues lost no opportunity of opposing the Buffs, 
and the Buffs lost no opportunity of opposing the Blues ; and the con- 
sequence was, that whenever the Buffs and Blues met together at pubhc 
meeting, Town- Hall, fair, or market, disputes and high words arose 
between them. With these dissensions it is almost superfluous to say 
that every thing in Eatanswill was made a party-question. If the Buffs 
proposed to new skylight the market-place, the Blues got up public 


meetings, and denounced the proceeding; if the Blues proposed the 
erection of an additional pump in the High Street, the Buffs rose as one 
man and stood aghast at the enormity. There were Blue shops and 
Buff shops, Blue inns and Buff inns ; — there was a Blue aisle and a Buff 
aisle, in the very church itself. 

Of course it was essentially and indispensably necessary that each of 
these powerful parties should have its chosen organ and representative : 
and, accordingly, there were two newspapers in the town — the Eatan- 
swill Gazette and the Eatanswill Independent ; the former advocating 
Blue principles, and the latter conducted on grounds decidedly Buff. 
Fine newspapers they were. Such leading articles, and such spirited 
attacks ! — " Our worthless contemporary the Gazette " — " That dis- 
graceful and dastardly journal, the Independent " — " That false and 
scurrilous print, the Independent " — " That vile and slanderous calum- 
niator, the Gazette ; " — these, and other spirijt-stirring denunciations 
were strewn plentifully over the columns of each, in every number, 
and excited feelings of the most intense delight and indignation in 
the bosoms of the townspeople. 

Mr. Pickwick, with his usual foresight and sagacity, had chosen a 
peculiarly desirable moment for his visit to the borough. Never was 
such a contest known. The Honourable Samuel Slumkey, of Slumkey 
Hall, was the Blue candidate ; and Horatio Fizkin, Esq., of Fizkin 
Lodge, near Eatanswill, had been prevailed upon by his friends to stand 
forward on the Buff interest. The Gazette warned the electors of 
Eatanswill that the eyes not only of England, but of the whole civilised 
world, were upon them ; and the Independent imperatively demanded to 
know, whether the constituency of Eatanswill were the grand fellows 
they had always taken them for, c base and servile tools, undeserving 
alike of the name of Englishmen and the blessings of freedom. Never 
had such a commotion agitated the town before. 

It was late in the evening, when Mr. Pickwick and his companions, 
assisted by Sam, dismounted from the roof of the Eatanswill coach. 
Large blue silk flags were flying from the windows of the Town Arms 
Inn, and bills were posted in every sash, intimating, in gigantic letters, 
that the honourable Samuel Slumkey 's Committee sat there daily. A 
crowd of idlers were assembled in the road, looking at a hoarse man 
in the balcony, who was apparently talking himself very red in the 
face in Mr. Slumkey's behalf; but the force and point of whose argu- 
ments were somewhat impaired by the perpetual beating of four large 
drums which Mr. Fizkin's committee had stationed at the street corner. 
There was a busy little man beside him, though, who took off his hat at 
intervals and motioned to the people to cheer, which they regularly did, 
most enthusiastically ; and as the red-faced gentleman went on talking 
till he was redder in the face than ever, it seemed to answer his purpose 
quite as well as if anybody had heard him. 

The Pickwickians had no sooner dismounted, than they were sur- 
rounded by a branch mob of the honest and independent, who forthwith 
set up three deafening cheers, which being responded to by the main 
body (for it's not at all necessary for a crowd to know what they are 

122 posTHi;.\:cus papers of 

cheering- about) swelled into a tremendous roar of triumph, which 
stopped even the red-faced man in the balcony. 

" Hurrah I " shouted the mob in conclusion. 

** One cheer more," screamed the little fugleman in the balcony ; 
and out shouted the mob ag-ain, as if lungs were cast iron, with steel 

" Slumkey for ever I " roared the honest and independent. 

" Slumkey for ever !" echoed Mr. Pickwick, taking off his hat. 

" No Fizkin," roared the crowd. 

" Certainly not," shouted Mr. Pickwick. 

" Hurrah ! " And then there was another roaring, like that of a 
whole menag-erie when the elephant has rung the bell for the cold meat. 

" Who is Slumkey? " whispered Mr. Tupman. 

" I don't know," rephed Mr. Pickwick in the same tone. ^' Hush. 
Don't ask any questions. It's always best on these occasions to do 
what the mob do." 

" But suppose there are two mobs ? " suggested Mr. Snodgrass. 

*^ Shout with the largest," replied Mr. Pickwick. 

Volumes could not have said more. 

They entered the house, the crowd opening right and left to let them 
pass, and cheering vociferously. The first object of consideration was to 
secure quarters for the night. 

" Can we have beds here ? " inquired Mr. Pickwick, summoning the 

**^ Don't know, Sir/' replied the man ; " afraid we're full, Sir — I'll 
inquire, sir." Away he went for that purpose, and presently returned, 
to ask whether the gentlemen were " Blue." 

As neither Mr. Pickwick nor his companions took any vital interest 
in the cause of either candidate, the question was rather a difficult one 
to answer. In this dilemma Mr. Pickwick bethought himself of his new 
friend, Mr. Perker. 

" Do you know a gentleman of the name of Perker ? " inq^uired Mr. 

" Certainly, Sir ; honourable Mr. Samuel Slumkey 's agent." 

" He is Blue, I think ? " 

" Oh yes. Sir." 

" Then we are Blue," said Mr. Pickwick ; but observing that the 
man looked rather doubtful at this accommodating announcement, he 
gave him his card, and desired him to present it to Mr. Perker forth- 
with, if he should happen to be in the house. The waiter retired ; and re- 
appearing almost immediately with a request that Mr. Pickwick would 
follow him, led the way to a large room on the first floor, where, seated 
at a long table covered with books and papers, was Mr. Perker. 

" Ah — ah my dear Sir," said the little man, advancing to meet him ; 
" very happy to see you, my dear Sir, very. Pray sit down. So you 
have carried your intention into effect. You have come down here to 
see an election — eh ?" 

Mr. Pickwick replied in the affirmative. 

" Spirited contest, my dear Sir/' said the little man. 


" I am delighted to hear it," said Mr. Pickwick, rubbing his hands 
*' I like to see sturdy patriotism, on whatever side it is called forth ; — 
and so it's a spirited contest ? " 

" Oh yes," said the little man, " very much so indeed. We have 
opened all the public houses in the place, and left our adversary nothing 
but the beer-shops — masterly stroke of policy that, my dear Sir, eh ? " 
— and the little man smiled complacently, and took a large pinch of 

" And what are the probabilities as to the result of the contest ? ' 
inquired Mr. Pickwick. 

" Why doubtful, my dear Sir ; rather doubtful as yet," replied the 
little man. " Fizkin's people have got three-and-thirty voters in the 
lock-up coach-house at the White Hart." 

" In the coach-house ! " said Mr. Pickwick, considerably astonished 
by this second stroke of policy. 

" They keep 'em locked up there, till they want 'em," resumed the 
little man. " The effect of that is, you see, to prevent our getting at 
them ; and even if we could, it would be of no use, for they keep them 
very drunk on purpose. Smart fellow Fizkin's agent — very smart fellow 

Mr. Pickwick stared, but said nothing. 

" We are pretty confident, though," said Mr. Perker, sinking his 
voice almost to a whisper. " We had a little tea-party here, last night 
— five-and-forty women, my dear Sir — and gave every one of 'em a 
green parasol when she went away." 

" A parasol ! " said Mr. Pickwick. 

" Fact, my dear Sir, fact. Five-and-forty green parasols, at seven 
and six-pence a-piece. All women like finery, — extraordinary the 
effect of those parasols. Secured all their husbands, and half their 
brothers — beats stockings, and flannel, and all that sort of thing hollow. 
My idea, my dear Sir, entirely. Hail, rain, or sunshine, you can't walk 
half a dozen yards up the street, without encountering half a dozen 
green parasols." 

Here the little man indulged in a convulsion of mirth, which was 
only checked by the entrance of a third party. 

This was a tall, thin man, with a sandy-coloured head inclined to 
baldness, and a face in which solemn importance was blended with a look 
of unfathomable profundity. He was dressed in a long brown surtout, 
with a black cloth waistcoat, and drab trousers. A double eye-glass 
dangled at his waistcoat: and on his head he wore a very low-crowned 
hat with a broad brim. The new comer was introduced to Mr. Pick- 
wick as Mr. Pott, the editor of the Eatanswill Gazette. After a few 
preliminary remarks, Mr. Pott turned round to Mr. Pickwick, and said 
with solemnity — 

" This contest excites great interest in the metropolis, Sir ? " 

" I believe it does," said Mr. Pickwick. 

" To which I have reason to know," said Pott, looking towards Mr. 
Perker for corroboration, — '' to which I have reason to know my article 
of last Saturday in some degree contributed." 


** Not the least doubt of that/* said the little man. 

" The press is a mighty engine, Sir," said Pott. 

Mr. Pickwick yielded his fullest assent to the proposition. 

" But I trust. Sir," said Pott, " that I have never abused the enor- 
mous power I wield. I trust, Sir, that I have never pointed the noble 
instrument which is placed in my hands, against the sacred bosOTn of 
private life, or the tender breast of individual reputation ; — I trust, Sir, 
that I have devoted my energies to — to endeavours — humble they may 

be, humble I know they are — to instil those principles of — which — 

are — 

Here the editor of the Eatanswill Gazette, appearing to ramble, Mr. 
Pickwick came to his relief, and said — 

" Certainly." 

" And what, Sir " — said Pott—" what, Sir, let me ask you as an 
impartial man, is the state of the public mind in London, with reference 
to my contest with the Independent ? " 

" Greatly excited, no doubt," interposed Mr. Perker, with a look of 
slyness which was very likely accidental. 

" That contest," said Pott, *' shall be prolonged so long as I have 
health and strength, and that portion of talent with which I am gifted. 
From that contest. Sir, although it may unsettle men's minds and excite 
their feelings, and render them incapable for the discharge of the every- 
day duties of ordinary life ; from that contest. Sir, I will never shrink, 
till I have set my heel upon the Eatanswill Independent. I wish the 
people of London, and the people of this country to know, Sir, that 
they may rely upon me ; — that I will not desert them, that I am 
resolved to stand by them. Sir, to the last." 

*' Your conduct is most noble, Sir," said Mr. Pickwick ; and he 
grasped the hand of the magnanimous Pott. 

" You are, Sir, I perceive, a man of sense and talent," said Mr. Pott, 
almost breathless with the vehemence of his patriotic declaration. " I 
am most happy, Sir, to make the acquaintance of such a man." 

" And I," said Mr, Pickwick, ^' feel deeply honoured by this expres- 
sion of your opinion. Allow me, Sir, to introduce you to my fellow- 
travellers, the other corresponding members of the club I am proud to 
have founded." 

" I shall be delighted," said Mr. Pott. 

Mr. Pickwick withdrew, and returning with his three friends, pre- 
sented them in due form to the editor of the Eatanswill Gazette. 

" Now my dear Pott," said little Mr. Perker, " the question is, what 
are we to do with our friends here ? " 

" We can stop in this house, I suppose," said Mr. Pickwick. 

" Not a spare bed in the house, my dear Sir — not a single bed." 

" Extremely awkward," said Mr. Pickwick. 

" Very ; " said his fellow- voyagers. 

" I have an idea upon this subject," said Mr. Pott, " which I think 
may be very successfully adopted. They have two beds at the Peacock, 
and I can boldly say, on behalf of Mrs. Pott, that she will be delighted 
to accommodate Mr. Pickwick and any one of his friends, if the other 


two gentlemen and their servant do not object to shifting-, as they best 
can, at the Peacock/* 

After repeated pressings on the part of Mr. Pott, and repeated pro- 
testations on that of Mr. Pickwick that he could not think of incom- 
moding or troubling his amiable wife, it was decided that this was the 
only feasible arrangement that could be made. So it was made ; and 
after dining together at the Town Arms, the friends separated, Mr. 
Tupman and Mr. Snodgrass repairing to the Peacock, and Mr. Pick- 
wick and Mr. Winkle proceeding to the mansion of Mr. Pott ; it having 
been previously arranged that they should all re-assemble at the Town 
Arms in the morning, and accompany the honourable Samuel Slumkey's 
procession to the place of nomination. 

Mr. Pott's domestic circle was limited to himself and his wife. All 
men whom mighty genius has raised to a proud eminence in the world, 
have usually some little weakness which appears the more conspicuous 
from the contrast it presents to their general character. If Mr. Pott 
had a weakness, it was, perhaps, that he was rather too submissive to 
the somewhat contemptuous controul and sway of his wife. We do not 
feel justified in laying any particular stress upon the fact, because on 
the present occasion all Mrs. Pott's most winning ways were brought 
into requisition to receive the two gentlemen. 

" My dear," said Mr. Pott, " Mr. Pickwick— Mr. Pickwick of 

Mrs. Pott received Mr. Pickwick's paternal grasp of the hand with 
enchanting sweetness : and Mr. Winkle, who had not been announced 
at all, slided and bowed, unnoticed, in an obscure corner. 

« P. my dear—" said Mrs. Pott. 

" My life," said Mr. Pott. 

" Pray introduce the other gentleman." 

" I beg a thousand pardons," said Mr. Pott. " Permit me^ — Mrs. 
Pott, Mr. — " 

" Winkle," said Mr. Pickwick. 

" Winkle," echoed Mr. Pott ; and the ceremony of introduction was 

•' We owe you many apologies. Ma'am," said Mr. Pickwick, " for 
disturbing your domestic arrangements at so short a notice." 

" I beg you won't mention it. Sir," replied the feminine Pott, with 
vivacity. " It is a high treat to me, I assure you, to see any new 
faces ; living as I do, from day to day, and week to week, in this dull 
place, and seeing nobody." 

" Nobody, my dear I *' exclaimed Mr. Pott, archly. 

" Nobody but you" retorted Mrs. Pott, with asperity. 

" You see, Mr. Pickwick," said the host in explanation of his wife's 
lament, " that we are in some measure cut off from many enjoyments 
and pleasures of which we might otherwise partake. My public station, 
as editor of the Eatanswiil Gazette, the position which that paper holds 
in the country, my constant immersion in the vortex of politics — " 

" P. my dear — " interposed Mrs. Pott, 

" My life—" said the editor. 


♦ '* I Wish, my dear, you would endeavour to find some topic of conver- 
sation in which these gentlemen might take some rational interest." 

^' But my love," said Mr. Pott, with great humility, " Mr. Pickwick 
does take an interest in it." 

" It's well for him if he can," said Mrs. Pott, emphatically ; « I am 
wearied out of my life with your politics, and quarrels with the Inde- 
pendent, and nonsense. I am quite astonished P. at your making such 
an exhibition of your absurdity." 

'< But my dear—" said Mr. Pott. 

" Oh, nonsense, don't talk to me ; " said Mrs. Pott. " Do you play 
ecarte, Sir ? " 

" I shall be very happy to learn, under your tuition," replied Mr 

<• Well, then, draw that little table into this window, and let me get 
out of hearing of those prosy politics." 

" Jane," said Mr. Pott, to the servant who brought in candles, " go 
down into the office, and bring me up the file of the Gazette for 
Eighteen Hundred and Twenty Eight. I'll just read you — " added the 
editor, turning to Mr. Pickwick, " I'll just read you a few of the leaders 
I wrote at that time, upon the Buif job of appointing a new tollman to 
the turnpike here ; I rather think they'll amuse you." 

" I should like to hear them very much, indeed," said Mr. Pickwick. 

Up came the file, and down sat the editor, with Mr. Pickwick at his 

We have in vain pored over the leaves of Mr. Pickwick's note-book, 
in the hope of meeting with a general summary of these beautiful com- 
positions. We have every reason to believe that he was perfectly 
enraptured with the vigour and freshness of the style ; indeed Mr. 
Winkle has recorded the fact that his eyes were closed, as- if with 
excess of pleasure, during the whole time of their perusal. 

The announcement of supper put a stop both to the game at ecarte, 
and the recapitulation of the beauties of the Eatanswill Gazette. Mrs. 
Pott was in the highest spirits and the most agreeable humour. Mr. 
Winkle had already made considerable progress in her good opinion, 
and she did not hesitate to inform him, confidentially, that Mr. Pickwick 
was " a delightful old dear." These terms convey a familiarity of 
expression, in which few of those who were intimately acquainted with 
that colossal-minded man, would have presumed to indulge. We have 
preserved them, nevertheless, as aifording at once a touching and a con- 
vincing proof of the estimation in which he was held by every class of 
society, and the ease with which he made his way to their hearts and 

It was a late hour of the night — long after Mr. Tupman and Mr. 
Snodgrass had fallen asleep in the inmost recesses of the Peacock — 
when the two friends retired to rest. Slumber soon fell upon the senses 
of Mr. Winkle, but his feelings had been excited, and his admiration 
roused ; and for many hours after sleep had rendered him insensible to 
earthly objects, the face and figure of the agreeable Mrs. Pott presented 
themselves again and again to his wandering imagination. 


The noise and bustle which ushered in the morning, were sufficient 
to dispel from the mind of the most romantic visionary in existence, 
any associations but those which were immediately connected with the 
rapidly-approaching election. The beating of drums, the blowing of 
horns and trumpets, the shouting of men, and tramping of horses, 
echoed and re-echoed through the streets from the earliest dawn of day ; 
and an occasional fight between the light skirmishers of either party, 
at once enlivened the preparations, and agreeably diversified their cha- 

" Well, Sam," said Mr. Pickwick, as his valet appeared at his bed- 
room door, just as he was concluding his toilet ; " all alive to-day, I 
suppose ? " 

" Reg'lar game. Sir," replied Mr. Weller ; " our people's a col-lecting 
down at the Town Arms, and they're a hollering themselves hoarse 

" Ah/' said Mr. Pickwick, " do they seem devoted to their party, 

" Never see such dewotion in my life, Sir." 

" Energetic, eh ? " said Mr. Pickwick. 

" Uncommon," replied Sam; " I never see men eat and drinlc so 
much afore. I wonder they a'nt afeer'd o' bustin." 

" That's the mistaken kindness of the gentry here," said Mr. Pick- 

" Werry likely," replied Sam, briefly. 

" Fine, fresh, hearty fellows they seem," said Mr. Pickwick, glancing 
from the window. 

" Werry fresh," replied Sam ; " me, and the two waiters at the Pea- 
cock, has been a pumpin' over the independent woters as supped there 
last night." 

" Pumping over independent voters ! " exclaimed Mr. Pickwick. 

*' Yes," said his attendant, " every man slept verc he fell down ; we 
dragged 'em out, one by one, this mornin' and put 'em under the pump, 
and they're in reg'lar fine order, now. Shillin' a head the committee 
paid for that 'ere job." 

" Can such things be ! " exclaimed the astonished Mr. Pickwick. 

" Lord bless your heart. Sir," said Sam, " why where was you half 
baptized ? — that's nothin', that a'nt." 

" Nothing ? " said Mr. Pickwick. 

" Nothin' at all. Sir," replied his attendant. " The night afore th 
last day o' the last election here, the opposite party bribed the bar-maid 
at the Town Arms, to hocus the brandy and water of fourteen unpolled 
electors as was a stoppin' in the house." 

" What do you mean by ' hocussing ' brandy and water ? " inquired 
Mr. Pickwick. 

" Puttin' laud'num in it," replied Sam. " Blessed if she didn't send 
'em all to sleep till twelve hours arter the election was over. They 
took one man up to the booth, in a truck, fast asleep, by way of experi- 
ment, but it was no go — they wouldn't poll him ; so they brought him 
back, and put him to bed again." 


" Strange practices, these," said Mr. Pickwick ; half speaking to him- 
self, and half addressing Sam. 

" Not half so strange as a miraculous circumstance as happened to 
my own father, at an electioti-tirae, in this wery place, Sir," replied 

" What was that ? " inquired Mr. Pickwick. 

" Why he drove a coach down here once," said Sam ; " 'Lection time 
came on, and he was engaged by vun party to bring down woters from 
London. Night afore he was a going to drive up, committee on t'other 
side sends for him quietly, and away he goes vith the messenger, who 
shows him in ; — large room — lots of gen'l'm'n — heaps of papers, 
pens and ink, and all that 'ere. ' Ah, Mr. Weller,' says the 
gen'l'm'n in the chair, 'glad to see you, Sir; how are you? ' — * Werry 
well, thank'ee, Sir,' says my father ; * I hope you re pretty middlin,' says 
he — ' Pretty well, thank'ee, Sir,' says the gen'l'm'n ; ' sit down, Mr. 
Weller — pray sit down, sir.' So my father sits down, and he and the 
gen'l'm'n looks wery hard at each other. * You don't remember me ? * 
says the gen'l'm'n ? — * Can't say I do,' says my father — ' Oh, I know 
you,' says the gen'l'm'n ; ' know'd you ven you was a boy,' says he. — 

* Well, I don't remember you,' says my father — * That's wery odd,' says 
the gen'l'm'n — ^ Wery,' says my father — ' You must have a bad mem'ry 
Mr. Weller/ says the gen'l'm'n — * Well, it is a wery bad 'un,' says my 
father — ' I thought so,' says the gen'l'm'n. So then they pours him 
out a glass o' wine, and gammons him about his driving, and gets him 
into a reg'lar good humour, and at last shoves a twenty pound note in 
his hand. ' It's a wery bad road between this and London,' says the 
gen'l'm'n — * Here and there it u a wery heavy road,' says my 
father — * 'Specially near the canal, I think,' says the gen'l'm'n — < Nasty 
bit, that 'ere,' says my father — ' Well, Mr. Weller/ says the gen'l'm'n, 

* you're a wery good whip, and can do what you like with your horses, 
we know. We're all wery fond o' you, Mr. Weller, so in case you 
should have an accident when you're a bringing these here woters down, 
and should tip 'em over into the canal vithout hurtin' 'em, this is for 
yourself,' says he — * Gen'l'm'n, you're wery kind,* says my father, 

* and I'll drink your health in another glass of wine,' says he ; vich he 
did, and then buttons up the money, and bows himself out. You 
vouldn't believe. Sir/' continued Sam, with a look of inexpressible 
impudence at his master, " that on the wery day as he came down 
with them woters, his coach was upset on that 'ere wery spot, and ev'ry 
man on 'em was turned into the canal." 

" And got out again ? " inquired Mr. Pickwick, hastily. 

" Why," replied Sam, very slowly, " I rather think one old gentle- •] 
man was missin' ; I know his hat was found, but I a'n't quite certain 
whether his head was in it or not. But what I look at, is the hex-tra- 
ordinary, and wonderful coincidence, that arter what that gen'l'm'n said 
my father's coach should be upset in that wery place, and on that wery^ 

'* It is, no doubt, a very extraordinary circumstance indeed/' said 
Mr. Pickwick. " But brush my hat, Sam, for I hear Mr. Winkle ■ 
calling me to breakfast." 


With these words Mr. Pickwick descendetl to the parlour, where he 
found breakfast laid, and the family already assembled. The meal was 
hastily desj)atched ; each of the gentlemen's hats was decorated with an 
enormous blue favour, made up by the fair hands of Mrs. Pott herself, 
and as Mr. Winkle had undertaken to escort that lady to a house top, 
in the immediate vicinity of the hustings, Mr. Pickwick and Mr. Pott 
repaired alone to the Town Arms, from the back window of which, one 
of Mr. Slumkey's committee was addressing six small boys, and one 
girl, whom he dignified, at every second sentence, with the imposing 
title of " men of Eatanswill," whereat the six small boys aforesaid 
cheered prodigiously. 

The stable-yard exhibited unequivocal symptoms of the glory and 
strength of the Eatanswill Blues. There was a regular army of blue 
flags, some with one handle, and some with two, exhibiting appropriate 
devices, in golden characters four feet high, and stout in proportion. 
There was a grand band of trumpets, bassoons and drums, marshalled 
four abreast, and earning their money, if ever men did, especially the 
drum beaters, who were very muscular. There were bodies of constables 
with blue staves, twenty committee-men with blue scarfs, and a mob of 
voters with blue cockades. There were electors on horseback, and 
electors a-foot. There was an open carriage and four, for the honour- 
able Samuel Slumkey; and there were four carriages and pair, for his 
friends and supporters : and the flags were rustling, and the band was 
playing, and the constables were swearing, and the twenty committee- 
men were squabbling, and the mob were shouting, and the horses were 
backing, and the post-boys perspiring; and everybody, and everything, 
then and there assembled, was for the special use, behoof, honour, and 
renown, of the honourable Samuel Slumkey of Slumkey Hall, one of 
the candidates for the representation of the Borough of Eatanswill, in 
the Commons House of Parliament of the United Kingdom. 

Loud and long were the cheers, and mighty was the rustling of one 
of the blue flags, with " Liberty of the Press " inscribed thereon, when 
the sandy head of Mr. Pott was discerned in one of the windows, by 
the mob beneath ; and tremendous was the enthusiasm when tne 
honourable Samuel Slumkey himself, in top boots, and a blue necker- 
chief, advanced and seized the hand of the said Pott, and melo-dramati- 
cally testified by gestures to the crowd, his ineffaceable obligations to the 
Eatanswill Gazette. 

" Is everything ready ? " said the honourable Samuel Slumkey to Mr. 

" Everything, my dear Sir," was the little man's reply. 

** Nothing has been omitted, I hope ? " said the honourable Samuel 

" Nothing has been left undone, my dear Sir — nothing" whatever. 
There are twenty washed men at the street door for you to shake hands 
with; and six children in arms that you're to pat on the head, and 
inquire the age of; be particular about the children, my dear Sir, — it 
has always a great effect, that sort of thing." 

** I'll take care," said the honourable Samuel Slumkey. 


" And, perhaps, my dear Sir — " said the cautious little man, " per- 
haps if you cotdd — I don't mean to say it's indispensable — but if you 
could manage to kiss one of 'em, it would produce a \Q,ry great impres- 
sion on the crowd." 

'* Wouldn't it have as good an effect if the proposer or seconder did 
that ? " said the honourable Samuel Slumkey. 

" Why, I am afraid it wouldn't," replied the agent ; " if it were done 
by yourself, my dear Sir, I think it would make you very popular." 

" Very well," said the honourable Samuel Slumkey, with a resigned 
air, " then it must be done. That's all." 

'^ Arrange the procession/' cried the twenty committee-men. 

Amidst the cheers of the assembled throng, the band, and the con- 
stables, and the committee-men, and the voters, and the horsemen, and 
the carriages, took their places — each of the two-horse vehicles being 
closely packed with as many gentlemen as could manage to stand 
upright in it ; and that assigned to Mr. Perker, containing Mr. 
Pickwick, Mr. Tupman, Mr. Snodgrass, and about half a dozen of the 
committee beside. 

There was a moment of awful suspense as the procession waited for 
the honourable Samuel Slumkey to step into his carriage. Suddenly 
the crowd set up a great cheering. 

" He has come out," said little Mr. Perker, greatly excited ; the more 
so as their position did not enable them to see what was going forward. 

Another cheer^ much louder. 

" He has shaken hands with the men," cried the httle agent. 

Another cheer, far more vehement. 

« He has patted the babes on the head," said Mr. Perker, trembling 
with anxiety. 

A roar of applause that rent the air. 

*' He has kissed one of 'em I " exclaimed the delighted little man. 

A second roar. 

" He has kissed another," gasped the excited manager. 

A third roar. 

" He's kissing 'em all I " screamed the enthusiastic little gentleman. 
And hailed by the deafening shouts of the multitude, the procession 
moved on. 

How or by what means it became mixed up with the other procession, 
and how it was ever extricated from the confusion consequent there- 
upon, is more than we can undertake to describe, inasmuch as Mr. 
Pickwick's hat was knocked over his eyes, nose, and mouth, by one poke 
of a Buff flag staff, very early in the proceedings. He describes himself 
as being surrounded on every side, when he could catch a glimpse of the 
scene, by angry and ferocious countenances, by a vast cloud of dust, 
and by a dense crowd of combatants. He represents himself as being 
forced from the carriage by some unseen power, and being personally 
engaged in a pugihstic encounter; but with whom, or how, or why. he 
is wholly unable to state. He then felt himself forced up some wooden 
steps by the persons from behind: and on removing his hat, found him- 
self surrounded by his friends, in the very front of the left hand side of 


the husUiig;s. TIip right was reserved for the Buff party, and the centre 
for tJie mayor and his officers ; one of whom — the fat crier of Eatanswill 
— was ring-ing an enormous bell, by way of commanding- silence, while 
jNIr, Horatio Fizkin, and the Honourable Samuel Slumkey, with their 
hands upon their hearts, were bowing- with the utmost affability to the 
troubled sea of heads that inundated the open space in front; and from 
whence arose a storm of groans, and shouts, and yells, and hootings, 
that would have done honour to an earthquake. 

" There's Winkle," said Mr. Tupman, pulling his friend by the 

" Where ? " said Mr. Pickwick, putting on his spectacles, which he 
hud fortunately kept in his pocket hitherto. 

" There," said Mr. Tnpraan, " on the top of that house." And 
there sure enough, in the leaden gutter of a tiled roof, were Mr. Winkle 
and Mrs. Pott, comfortably seated in a couple of chairs, waving their 
handkerchiefs in token of recognition — a compliment which Mr. Pick- 
wick returned by kissing his hand to the lady. 

Thepioceedings had not yet commenced ; and as an inactive crowd is 
generally disposed to be jocose, this very innocent action was sufficient 
to awaken their facetiousness. 

" Oh you wicked old rascal," cried one voice, " looking arter the 
girls, are you ? '' 

" Oh you wenerable "sinner," cried another. 

*' Putting on his spectacles to look at a married 'ooman ! " said a 

" I sec him a vinkin' at her, vith his vicked old eye," shouted a 

*' Look arter your wife, Pott," bellowed a fifth ; — and then there v/as 
a roar of laughter. 

As these taunts were accompanied with invidious comparisons 
between Mr. Pickwick and an aged ram, and several witticisms of the 
like nature; and as they moreover rather tended to convey reflections 
upon the honour of an innocent lady, Mr. Pickwick's indignation was 
excessive ; but as silence was proclaimed at the moment, he contented 
himself by scorching the mob with a look of pity for their misguided 
minds, at which they laughed more boisterously than ever. 
" Silence," roared the mayor's attendants. 

" Whiffin, proclaim silence," said the mayor, with an air of pomp 
befitting his lofty station. In obedience to this command the crier per- 
formed another concerto on the bell, whereupon a gentleman in the 
crowd called out "muffins ;" which occasioned another laugh. 

" Gentlemen," said the Mayor, at as loud a pitch as he could possibly 
force his voice to, " Gentlemen. Brother electors of the Borough of 
Eatanswill. We are met here to-day, for the purpose of choosing a 
representative in the room of our late — " 
I Here the Mayor was interrupted by a voice in the crowd. 

" Suc-cess to the Mayor ! " cried the voice, " and may he never 
desert the nail and sarspan business, as he got his money by." 

This allusion to the professional pursuits of the orator was received 



with a storm of delight, which, with a bell-accompaniment, rendered 
the remainder of his speech inaudible, with the exception of the con- 
cluding sentence, in which he thanked the meeting- for the patient 
attention with which they had heard him throughout, — an expression of 
gratitude which elicited another burst of mirth, of about a quarter of an 
hour's duration. 

Next, a tall thin gentleman, in a very stiff white neckerchief, after 
being repeatedly desired by the crowd to " send a boy home, to ask 
whether he hadn't left his woice under the pillow," begged to nominate 
a iit and proper person to represent them in Parliament. And when 
he said i-t was Horatio Fizkin, Esquire, of Fizkin Lodge, near Eatanswill, 
the Fizkinites applauded, and the Slumkeyites groaned, so long, and so 
loudly, that both he and the seconder might have sung comic songs in 
lieu of speaking, without anybody's being a bit the wiser. 

The friends of- Horatio Fizkin, Esquire, having had their innings, a 
little choleric, pink-faced man stood forward to propose another fit and 
proper person to represent the electors of Eatanswill in Parliament; 
and very swimmingly the pink-faced gentleman would have got on, if 
he had not been rather too choleric to entertain a sufficient perception 
of the fun of the crowd. But after a very few sentences of figurative 
eloquence, the pink-faced gentleman got from denouncing those who 
interrupted him in the mob, to exchanging defiances with the gentle-* 
men on the hustings ; whereupon arose an uproar which reduced him to 
the necessity of expressing his feelings by serious pantomime, which he 
did, and then left the stage to his seconder, who delivered a written 
speech of half an hour's length, and wouldn't be stopped, because he had 
sent it all to the Eatanswill Gazette, and the Eatanswill Gazette had 
printed it, every word. 

Then Horatio Fizkin, Esquire, of Fizkin Lodge, near Eatanswill, 
presented himself for the purpose of addressing the electors ; which he 
no sooner did, than the band employed by the honourable Samuel 
Slumkey, commenced performing with a power to which their strength 
in the morning was a trifle ; in return for which, the Buff crowd bela- 
boured the heads and shoulders of the Blue crowd ; on which the Blue 
crowd endeavoured to dispossess themselves of their very unpleasant 
neighbours the Buff crowd ; and a scene of struggling, and pushing, and 
fighting, succeeded, to which we can no more do justice than the Mayor 
could, although he issued imperative orders to twelve constables to seize 
the ring-leaders, who might amount in number to two hundred and 
fifty, or thereabouts. At all these encounters, Horatio Fizkin, Esquire, 
of Fizkin Lodge, and his friends, waxed fierce and furious ; until at last 
Horatio Fizkin, Esquire, of Fizkin Lodge, begged to ask his opponent, 
the honourable Samuel Slumkey, of Slumkey Hall, whether that 
band played by his consent ; which question the honourable Samuel 
Slumkey declining to answer, Horatio Fizkin, Esquire, of Fizkin Lodge, 
shook his fist in the countenance of the honourable Samuel Slumkey, of 
Slumkey Hall ; upon which the honourable Samuel Slumkey, his blood 
being up, defied Horatio Fizkin, Esquire, to mortal combat. At this 
violation of all known rules and ])recedents of order, the Mayor 
commanded another fantasia on the 1 ^11;, ud declared that he would 




bring before himself, both Horatio Fizkin, Esquire, of Fizkin Lodge, 
and the honourable Samuel Slumkey, of Shunkey Hall, and bind them 
over to keep the peace. Upon this terrific denunciation, the supporters 
of the two candidates interfered, and after the friends of each party hud 
quarrelled in pairs for three-quarters of an hour, Horatio Fizkin, 
Esquire, touched his hat to the honourable Samuel Slumkey : the 
honourable Samuel Slumkey touched his to Horatio Fizkin, Ee-quire : 
the band was stopped, the crowd were partially quieted, and Horatio 
Fizkin, Esquire, was permitted to proceed. 

The speeches of the two candidates, though differing in every other 
respect, afforded a beautiful tribute to the merit and high worth of the 
electors of Eatanswill. Both expressed their opinion that a more inde- 
pendent, a more enlightened, a more public-spirited, a more noble- 
minded, a more disinterested set of men than those who had promised 
to vote for him, never existed on earth ; each darkly hinted his suspi- 
cions that the electors in the opposite interest had certain swinish and 
besotted infirmities which rendered them unfit for the exercise of the 
important duties they were called upon to discharge. Fizkin expressed 
his readiness to do anything he was wanted ; Slumkey, his determina- 
tion to do nothing that was asked of him. Both said that the trade, the 
manufactures, the commerce, the prosperity, of Eatanswill, would ever 
be dearer to their hearts than any earthly object; and each had it in his 
power to state, with the utmost confidence, that he was the man who 
would eventually be returned. 

There was a show of hands; the Mayor decided in favour of ihe 
honourable Samuel Slumkey, of Slumkey Hall. Horatio Fizkin, 
Esquire, of Fizkin Lodge, demanded a poll, and a poll was fixed accord- 
ingly. Then a vote of thanks was moved to the Mayor for his able 
conduct in the chair ; and the Mayor devoutly wishing that he had had 
a chair to display his able conduct in (for he had been standing during 
the whole proceedings) returned thanks. The processions re-formed, 
the carriages rolled slowly through the crowd, and its members screeched 
and shoiited after them as their feelings or caprice dictated. 

During the whole time of the polling, the town was in a perpetual 
fever of excitement. Everything was conducted on the most liberal 
and delightful scale. Exciseable articles were remarkably cheap at all 
the public houses ; and spring vans paraded the streets for the accom- 
modation of voters who were seized with any temporary dizziness in the 
head — an epidemic which prevailed among the electors, during the 
contest, to a most alarming extent, and under the influence of which 
they might frequently be seen lying on the pavements in a state of 
utter insensibility. A small body of electors remained unpolled on the 
very last day. They were calculating and reflecting persons, who had 
not yet been convinced by the arguments of either party, although they 
had had frequent conferences with each. One hour before the close of 
the poll, Mr. Perker solicited the honour of a private interview with 
these intelligent, these noble, these patriotic men. It was granted 
His arguments were brief, but satisfactory. They went in a body to 
the poll ; and when they returned, the honourable Samuel Slumkey, 
of Slumkey Hall, was returned also. 





It is pleasant to turn from contemplating" the strife and turmoil of 
political existence, to the peaceful repose of private life. Although in 
reality no great partisan of either side, Mr. Pickwick was sufficiently- 
fired with Mr. Pott's enthusiasm, to apply his whole time and attention 
to the proceedings, of which the last chapter affords a description com- 
piled from his own memoranda. Nor while he was thus occupied was 
Mr. Winkle idle, his whole time being devoted to pleasant walks and 
short country excursions with Mrs. Pott, who never failed, when such 
an opportunity 'presented itself, to seek some relief from the tedious 
monotony she so constantly complained of. The two gentlemen being 
thus completely domesticated in the Editor's house, Mr. Tupman and 
Mr. Snodgrass were in a great measure cast upon their own resources. 
Taking but little interest in pubHc affairs, they beguiled their time chiefly 
with such amusements as the Peacock afforded, which were limited to 
a bagatelle-board in the first floor, and a sequestered skittle-ground in the 
back yard. In the science and nicety of both these recreations, which 
are far more abstruse than ordinary men suppose, they were gradually 
initiated by Mr. Weller, who possessed a perfect knowledge of such 
pastimes. Thus, notwithstanding that they were in a great measure 
deprived of the comfort and advantage of Mr. Pickwick's society, they 
were still enabled to beguile the time, and to prevent its hanging heavily 
on their hands. 

It was in the evening, however, that the Peacock presented attrac- 
tions which enabled the two friends to resist, even the invitations of 
the talented, though prosily inclined, Mr. Pott. It was in the evening 
that the " commercial room" was filled with a social circle, whose 
characters and manners it was the delight of Mr. Tupman to observe ; 
whose sayings and doings it was the habit of Mr. Snodgrass to note 

Most people know what sort of places commercial rooms usually are. 
That of the Peacock differed in no material respect from the generality 
of such apartments ; that is to say, it was a large bare-looking room, 
the furniture of which had no doubt been better when it was newer, 
with a spacious table in the centre, and a variety of smaller dittos in 
the corners : an extensive assortment of variously shaped chairs, and an 
old Turkey carpet, bearing about the same relative proportion to the 
size of the room, as a lady's pocket-handkerchief might to the floor of a 
watch-box. The walls were garnished with one or two large maps ; 
and several weather-beaten rough great coats, with complicated capes, 


dangled from a long row of pegs in one corner. The mantel-shelf was 
ornnmented with a wooden inkstand, containing one stump of a pen and 
half a wafer, a road-book and directory, a county history minus the 
cover, and the mortal remains of a trout in a glass coffin. The atmo- 
spiiere was redolent of tobacco-smoke, the fumes of which had commu- 
nicated a rather dingy hue to the whole room, and more especially to 
the dusty red curtains which shaded the windows. On the sideboard, a 
variety of miscellaneous articles were huddled together, the most con- 
spicuous of which were some very cloudy fish-sauce cruets, a couple or 
driving-boxes, two or three whips, and as many travelling shawls, a 
tray of knives and forks, and the mustard. 

Here it was that Mr. Tupman and Mr. Snodgrass were seated on 
the evening after the conclusion of the election, with several other 
temporary inmates of the house, smoking and drinking. 

" Well gents," said a stout, hale personage of about forty, with only 
one eye — a very bright black eye, which twinkled with a roguish expres- 
sion of fiin and good humour, " Our noble selves, gents. I always 
propose that toast to the company, and drink Mary to myself. Eh, 

" Get along with you, you wretch," said the hand-maiden, obviously 
not ill pleased with the compliment, however. 

" Don't go away, Mary," said the black eyed man. 

" Let me alone, iraperence," said the young lady. 

" Never mind," said the one-eyed man, calling after the girl as she 
left the room. " I'll step out by and by, Mary. Keep your spirits 
up, dear." Here he went through the not very difficult process of 
winking upon the company with his solitary eye, to the enthusiastic 
delight of an elderly personage with a dirty face and a clay pipe. 

" Rum creeters is women," said the dirty-faced man, after a pause. 

" Ah I no mistake about that," said a very red-faced man, behind a 

After this little bit of philosophy there was another pause. 

" There's rummer things than women in this world though, mind 
you," said the man with the black eye, slowly filling a large Dutch 
pipe, with a most capacious bowl. 

" Are you married? " inquired the dirty-faced man. 

" Can't say I am." 

'* I thought not." Here the dirty-faced man fell into extasies of 
mirth at his own retort, in which he was joined by a man of bland voice 
and placid countenance, who always made it a point to agree with 

*' Women after all, gentlemen," said the enthusiastic Mr. Snodgrass, 
" are the great props and comforts of our existence." 

" So they are," said the placid gentleman. 

" When they're in a s"ood humour," interposed the dirty-faced man. 

" And that's very true," said the placid one. 

" I repudiate that quahfication," said Mr. Snodgrass, whose thoughts 
were last reverting to Emily Wardle, " I repudiate it with disdain — with 
indignation. Show me the man who says anything against women, as 


women, and 1 boldly declare he is not a man." And Mr. Snodgrass 
took his cig-ar from his mouth, and struck the table violently with his 
clenched fist. 

" That's good sound argument," said the placid man. 

" Containing a position which I deny," interrupted he of the dirty 

" And there's certainly a very great deal of truth in what you observe 
too, Sir," said the placid gentleman. 

" Your health. Sir," said the bagman with the lonely eye, bestowing' 
an approving nod on Mr. Snodgrass. 

Mr. Snodgrass acknowledged the compliment. 

" I always like to hear a good argument," continued the bagman, " a 
sharp one, like this ; it's very improving ; but this little argument about 
women brought to my mind a story I have heard an old uncle of mine 
tell, the recollection of which, just now, made me say there were rummer 
things than women to be met with, sometimes." 

" I should like to hear that same story," said tho red-faced man with 
the cigar. 

*' Should you?" was the only reply of the bagman, who continued to 
smoke with great vehemence. 

'* So should I," said Mr. Tupman, speaking for the first time. He 
was always anxious to increase his stock of experience. 

" Should you ? Well then, I'll tell it. No I won't. I know you 
won't believe it/' said the man with the roguish eye, making that organ 
look more roguish than ever. 

*^ If you say it's true, of course I shall," said Mr. Tupman. 

" Well, upon that understanding I'll tell it," replied the traveller. 
*' Did you ever hear of the great commercial house of Bilson and 
Slum ? But it doesn't matter though, whether you did or not, because 
they retired from business long since. It's eighty years ago, since the 
circumstance happened to a traveller for that house, but he was a par- 
ticular friend of my uncle's : and my uncle told the story to me. It's 
a queer name ; but he used to call it 

THE bagman's story, 

and he used to tell it, something in this way. 

*' One winter's evening, about five o'clock, just as it began to grow 
dusk, a man in a gig might have been seen urging his tired horse along 
the road which leads across Marlborough Downs, in the direction of 
Bristol. I say he might have been seen, and I have no doubt he 
would have been, if anybody but a blind man had happened to pass 
that way ; but the weather was so bad, and the night so cold and wet, 
that nothing w^as out but the water, and so the traveller jogged along 
in the middle of the road, lonesome and dreary enough, ff any bagman 
of that day could have caught sight of the little neck-or-nothing sort 
of gig, with a clay-coloured body and red wheels, and the vixenish ill- 
tempered, fast-going bay mare, that looked like a cross between a 
butcher's horse and a twopenny post-office pony, he would have 
known at once, that this traveller could have been no other than Tom 


Smart, of the great house of Bilson and Slum, Cateaton Street, City, 
However, as there was no bagman to look on, nobody knew anything at 
all al)out the matter; and so Tom Smart and his clay-coloured gig 
with the red wheels, and the vixenish mare with the fast pace, went on 
together, keeping the secret among them, and nobody was a bit the wiser. 

" There are many pleasanter places even in this dreary world, than 
Marlborough Downs when it blows hard ; and if you throw in beside, a 
gloomy winter's evening, a miry and sloppy road, and a pelting fall of 
heavy rain, and try the effect, by way of experiment, in your own 
proper person, you will experience the full force of this observation. 

" The wind blew — not up the road or down it, though that's bad 
enough, but sheer across it, sending the rain slanting down like the 
lines they used to rule in the copybooks at school, to make the boys slope 
well. For a moment it would die away, and the traveller would begin 
to delude himself into the belief that, exhausted with its previous fury, 
it had quietly lain itself down to rest, when, whoo ! he would hear it 
growling and whistling in the distance, and on it would come rushing 
over the hill-tops, and sweeping along the plain, gathering sound and 
strength as it drew nearer, until it dashed with a heavy gust against 
horse and man, driving the sharp rain into their ears, and its cold damp 
breath into their very bones ; and past them it would scour, far, far 
away, with a stunning roar, as if in ridicule of their weakness, and 
triumphant in the consciousness of its own strength and power. 

*' The bay mare splashed away, through the mud and water, with 
drooping ears, now and then tossing her head as if to express her dis- 
gust at this very ungentlemanly behaviour of the elements, but keeping 
a good pace notwithstanding, until a gust of wind, more furious than 
any that had yet assailed them, caused her to stop suddenly, and plant 
her four feet firmly against the ground, to prevent her being blown 
over. It's a special mercy that she did this, for if she had been blown 
over, the vixenish mare was so light, and the gig was so light, and 
Tom Smart such a light weight into the bargain, that they must infal- 
libly have all gone rolling over and over together, until they reached 
.the confines of earth, or until the wind fell ; and in either case the 
probability is, that neither the vixenish mare, nor the clay-coloured gig 
with the red wheels, nor Tom Smart, would ever have been fit for 
service again. 

" < Well, damn my straps and whiskers,' says Tom Smart, (Tom 
sometimes had an unpleasant knack of swearing), ' Damn my straps and 
whiskers,' says Tom, ' if this ain't pleasant, blow me.' 

" You'll very likely ask me, why, as Tom Smart had been pretty 
well blown already, he expressed this wish to be submitted to the same 
process again. I can't say — all I know is, that Tom Smart said so — 
or at least he always told my uncle he said so, and it's just the same 

" ' Blow me,' says Tom Smart ; and the mare neighed as if she were 
precisely of the same opinion. 

" * Cheer up old girl,' said Tom, patting the bay mare on the neck 
with the end of his whip, ' It won't do pushing on, such a night as 



this ; the first house we come to we'll put up at, so the faster you go 
the sooner it's over. Soho, old girl — gently — gently/ 

" Whether the vixenish mare was suflBciently well acquainted with 
the tones of Tom's voice to comprehend his meaning, or whether she 
found it colder standing still than moving on, of course I can't say. 
But I can say that Tom had no sooner finished speaking, than she 
pricked up her ears, and started forward at a speed which made the 
clay-coloured gig rattle till you would have supposed every one of the 
red spokes was going to fly out on the turf of Marlborough Downs ; 
and even Tom, whip as he was, couldn't stop or check her pace, until 
she drew up, of her own accord, before a road-side inn on the right- 
hand side of the way, about half a quarter of a mile from the end of 
the Downs. 

" Tom cast a hasty glance at the upper part of the house as he 
threw the reins to the hostler, and stuck the whip in the box. It was 
a strange old place, built of a kind of shingle, inlaid, as it were, with 
cross-beams, with gable-topped windows projecting completely over 
the pathway, and a low door with a dark porch, and a couple of steep 
steps leading down into the house, instead of the modern fashion of 
half a dozen shallow ones, leading up to it. It was a comfortable-looking 
place though, for there was a strong cheerful light in the bar-window, 
which shed a bright ray across the road, and even lighted up the hedge 
on the other side ; and there was a red flickering light in the opposite 
window, one moment but faintly discernible, and the next gleaming 
strongly through the drawn curtains, which intimated that a rousing 
fire was blazing within. Marking these little evidences with the eye of 
an experienced traveller, Tom dismounted with as much agility as his 
half-frozen limbs would permit, and entered the house. 

" In less than five minutes' time, Tom was ensconced in the room 
opposite the bar — the very room where he had imagined the fire 
blazing — before a substantial matter-of-fact roaring fire, composed of 
something short of a bushel of coals, and wood enough to make half a 
dozen decent gooseberry-bushes, piled half way up the chimney, and 
roaring and crackling with a sound that of itself would have warmed 
the heart of any reasonable man. This was comfortable, but this was 
not all, for a smartly dressed girl, with a bright eye and a neat ankle, 
was laying a very clean white cloth on the table ; and as Tom sat with 
his slippered feet on the fender, and his back to the open door, he saw 
a charming prospect of the bar reflected in the glass over the chimney- 
piece, with delightful rows of green bottles and gold labels, together 
with jars of pickles and preserves, and cheeses and boiled hams, and 
rounds of beef, arranged on shelves in the most tempting and delicious 
array. Well, this was comfortable too ; but even this was not all— 
for in the bar, seated at tea at the nicest possible little table, drawn 
close up before the brightest possible little fire, was a buxom widow 
of somewhere about eight and forty or thereabouts, with a face as 
comfortable as the bar, who was evidently the landlady of the house, 
and the supreme ruler over all these agreeable possessions. There 
^vas only one drawback to the beauty of the whole picture, and thatj 


Mv&s a tall man — a very tall man — in a ])rou'n coat and bri'ght basket 
buttons, and black whiskers, and wavy black hair, who was seated at 
tea with the widow, and who it required no great penetration to dis- 
cover was in a fair way of persuading her to be a widow no longer, but 
to confer upon him the privilege of sitting down in that bar, for and 
during the whole remainder of the term of his natural life. 

" Tom Smart was by no means of an irritable or envious disposition, 
but somehow or other the tall man with the brown coat and the bright 
basket buttons did rouse what little gall he had in hfs composition, and 
did make him feel extremely indignant, the more especially as he could 
now and then observe, from his seat before the glass, certain little affec- 
tionate familiaritres passing between the tall man and the widow, which 
sufficiently denoted that the tall man was as high in favour as he was 
in size. Tom was fond of hot punch — I may venture to say he was 
veiy fond of hot punch — and after he had seen the vixenish mare well 
fed and well littered down, and eaten every bit of the nice little hot 
dinner which the widow tossed up for him with her own hands, he just 
ordered a tumbler of it, by way of experiment. Now if there was one 
thing in the whole range of domestic art, which the widow could manu- 
facture better than another, it was this identical article ; and the first 
tumbler was adapted to Tom Smart's taste with such peculiar nicety, 
that he ordered a second with the least possible delay. Hot punch is 
a pleasant thing, gentlemen — an extremely pleasant thing under any 
circumstances — but in that snug old parlour, before the roaring fire, 
with the wind blowing outside till every timber in the old house 
creaked again, Tom Smart found it perfectly delightful. He ordered 
another tumbler, and then another — 1 am not quite certain whether he 
didn't order another after that — but the more he drank of the hot 
punch the more he thought of the tall man. 

*' * Confound his impudence,' said Tom Smart to himself, * what 
business has he in that snug bar ? Such an ugly villain too I ' said 
Tom. ' If the widow had any taste, she might surely pick up some 
better fellow than that.' Here Tom's eye wandered from the glass on 
the chimney-piece, to the glass on the table, and as he felt himself 
becoming gradually sentimental, he emptied the fourth tumbler of 
punch and ordered a fifth. 

" Tom Smart, gentlemen, had always been very much attached to 
the public line. It had long been his ambition to stand in a bar of his 
own, in a green coat, knee-cords, and tops. He had a great notion of 
taking the chair at convivial dinners, and he had often thought how 
well he could preside in a room of his own in the talking way, and what 
a capital example he could set to his customers in the drinking depart- 
ment. All these things passed rapidly through Tom's mind as he sat 
drinking the hot punch by the roaring fire, and he felt very justly and 
properly indignant that the tall man should be in a fairway of keeping 
buch an excellent house, while he, Tom Smart, was as far off from it as 
over. So, after deliberating over the two last tumblers, whether he 
hadn't a perfect right to pick a quarrel with the tall man for having 
contrived to get into the good graces of the buxom widow, Tom Smart 


at last arrived at the satisfactory conclusion that he was a very ill-used 
and persecuted individual, and had better go to bed. 

" Up a wide and ancient staircase the smart girl preceded Tom, shading" 
the chamber candle with her hand, to protect it from the currents of 
air which in such a rambling" old place might have found plenty of 
room to disport themselves in, without blowing the candle out, but 
which did blow it out nevertheless ; thus affording Tom's enemies an 
opportunity of asserting that it was he, and not the wind, who extin- 
guished the candle, and that while he pretended to be blowing it a-light 
again, he was in fact kissing the girl. Be this as it may, another light 
was obtained, and Tom was conducted through a maze of rooms, and a 
labyrinth of passages, to the apartment which had been prepared for his 
reception, where the girl bid him good night, and left him alone. 

" It was a good large room with big closets, and a bed which might have 
served for a whole boarding-school, to say nothing of a couple of oaken 
presses that would have held the baggage of a small army : but what 
struck Tom's fancy most, was a strange, grim-looking, high-backed 
chair, carved in the most fantastic manner, with a flowered damask 
cushion, and the round knobs at the bottom of the legs carefully tied 
up in red cloth, as if it had got the gout in its toes. Of any other 
queer chair, Tom would only have thought it was a queer chair, and 
there v/ould have been an end of the matter ; but there was something 
about this particular chair, and yet he couldn't tell what it was, so odd 
and so unlike any other piece of furniture he had ever seen, that it 
seemed to fascinate him. He sat down before the fire, and stared at 
the old chair for half an hour ; — Damn the chair, it was such a strange 
old thing, he couldn't take his eyes off it. 

" * Well,' said Tom, slowly undressing himself, and staring at the old 
chair all the while, which stood with a mysterious aspect by the bed- 
side, * I never saw such a rum concern as that in my days. Very odd,' 
said Tom, who had got rather sage with the hot punch, * Very odd/ 
Tom shook his head with an air of yjrofound wisdom, and looked at the 
chair again. He couldn't make anything of it though, so he got into 
bed, covered himself up warm, and fell asleep. 

" In about half an hour, Tom woke up with a start, from a confused 
dream of tall men and tumblers of punch : and the first object that pre- 
sented itself to his waking imagination was the queer chair. 

" * I won't look at it any more,' said Tom to himself, and he squeezed 
his eyelids together, and tried to persuade himself he was going to sleep 
again. No use ; nothing but queer chairs danced before his eyes, kick- 
ing up their legs, jumping over each other's backs, and playing all kinds 
of antics. 

" * I may as well see one real chair, as two or three complete sets of 
false ones,' said Tom, bringing out his head from under the bed-clothes. 
There it was, plainly discernible by the light of the fire, looking as pro- 
voking as ever. 

" Tom gazed at the chair ; and, suddenly as he looked at it, a most 
extraordinary change seemed to come over it. The carving of the back 
gradually assumed the lineaments and expression of an old, shrivelled 



human face ; the damask cushion became an antique, flapped waistcoat ; 
the round knobs grew into a couple of feet, encased in red cloth slippers, 
and the whole chair looked like a very ugly old man, of the previous 
century, with his arms a-kimbo. Tom sat up in bed, and rubbed his 
eyes to dispel the illusion. No. The chair was an ug-ly old gentle- 
man ; and what was more, he was winkings at Tom Smart. 

" Tom was naturally a headlong-, careless sort of dog, and he had had 
five tumblers of hot punch into the bargain ; so, although he was a little 
startled at first, he began to grow rather indignant when he saw the old 
gentleman winking and leering at him with such an impudent air. At 
length he resolved that he wouldn't stand it ; and as the old face still 
kept winking away as fast as ever, Tom said, in a very angry tone — 

" * What the devil are you winking at me for? ' 

*' * Because I like it, Tom Smart,' said the chair ; or the old gentle- 
man, whichever you like to call him. He stopped winking though, 
when Tom spoke, and began grinning like a superannuated monkey. 

" ' How do you know my name, old nut-cracker face ? ' inquired Tom 
Smart, rather staggered; — though he pretended to carry it off so well. 

" ' Come, come Tom,' said the old gentleman, ' that's not the way to 
address solid Spanish Mahogany. Dam'me, you couldn't treat me 
with less respect if I was veneered.' When the old gentleman said 
this, he looked so fierce that Tom began to grow frightened. 

" ' I didn't mean to treat you with any disrespect, Sir,' said Tom ; in 
a much humbler tone than he had spoken in at first. 

" ' Weil, well,' said the old fellow, ' perhaps not — perhaps not. 

« « Sir— ' 

" ' I know everything about you, Tom ; everything. You're very 
poor Tom.' 

" * I certainly am,' said Tom Smart. ' But how came you to know 
that ? ' 

" ' Never mind that,' said the old gentleman ; < you're much too fond 
of punch, Tom.' 

" Tom Smart was just on the point of protesting that he hadn't tasted 
a drop since his last birth-day, but when his eye encountered that of the 
old gentleman, he looked so knowing that Tom blushed, and was silent. 

" * Tom,' said the old gentleman, * the widow's a fine woman — 
remarkably fine woman — eh, Tom ? ' Here the old fellow screwed up 
his eyes, cocked up one of his wasted little legs, and looked altogether 
so unpleasantly amorous, that Tom was quite disgusted with the levity 
of his behaviour ; — at his time of life, too I 

" ' I am her guardian, Tom,' said the old gentleman. 

** * Are you ? ' inquired Tom Smart. 

" ' I knew her mother, Tom,' said the old fellow ; ' and her grand- 
mother. She was very fond of me — made me this waistcoat, Tom." 

" * Did she ? ' said Tom Smart. 

" ' And these shoes, ' said the old fellow, lifting up one of the red- 
loth mufflers ; ' but don't mention it, Tom. I shouldn't like to have 
it known that she was so much attached to me. It might occasion 
some unpleasantness in the family.' When the old rascal said this, he 


looked so extremely impertinent, that, as Tom Smart afterwards 
declared, he could have sat upon him without remorse. 

" ' I have been a great favourite among the women in my time, Tom, 
said the profligate old debauchee ; ' hundreds of fine women have sat in 
my lap for hours together. What do you think of that you dog, eh ? ' 
The old gentleman was proceeding to recount some other exploits of his 
youth, when he was seized with such a violent fit of creaking that he 
was unable to proceed. 

" ' Just serves you right, old boy,' thought Tom Smart ; but he didn't 
say anything. 

" < Ah ! ' said the old fellow, * I am a good deal troubled with this 
now. I am getting old, Tom, and have lost nearly all my rails. I 
have had an operation performed, too — a small piece let into my back — 
and I found it a severe trial, Tom.* 

'* ' I dare say you did, Sir,' said Tom Smart. 

" ' However/ said the old gentleman, ' that's not the point. Tom, I 
want you to marry the widow.' 

" * Me, Sir I' said Tom. 

" ' You ; ' said the old gentleman. 

" ' Bless your reverend locks,' said Tom — (he had a few scattered 
horse-hairs left)—" ' bless your reverend locks, she wouldn't have me.' 
And Tom sighed involuntarily, as he thought of the bar. 

*' ' Wouldn't she ? ' said the old gentleman, firmly. 

" ' No, no,' said Tom ; ' there's somebody else in the wind. A tall 
man — a confoundedly tall man — with black whiskers.' 

" ' Tom,' said the old gentleman ; * she will never have him.' 

" ' Won't she ? ' said Tom. * If you stood in the bar, old gentleman, 
you'd tell another story.' 

" * Pooh, pooh,' said the old gentleman. ' I know all about that.* 

" * About what ? ' said Tom. 

** ' The kissing behind the door, and all that sort of thing, Tom,' said 
the old gentleman, and here he gave another impudent look, which 
made Tom very wroth, because as you all know, gentlemen, to hear an 
old fellow, who ought to know better, talking about these things, is 
very unpleasant — nothing more so. 

** ' I know all about that, Tom,' said the old gentleman. * I have 
seen it done very often in my time, Tom, between more people than I 
should like to mention to you ; but it never came to anything after 

" * You must have seen some queer things,' said Tom, with an 
inquisitive look. 

" ' You may say that, Tom,' replied the old fellow, with a very com- 
plicated wink. ' I am the last of my family. Torn,' said the old gentle- 
man, with a melancholy sigh. 

" Was it a large one ? ' inquired Tom Smart. 

" ' There were twelve of us, Tom,' said the old gentleman ; fine 
straight-backed, handsome fellows as you'd wish to see. None of your 
modern abortions — all wdth arms, and with a degree of polish, though I 
say it that should not, which it would have done your heart good to 




«' * And what's become of the others, Sir? * asked Tom Smart. 

*' The old gentleman applied his elbow to his eye as he replied, 
* Gone, Tom, gone. We had hard service, Tom, and they hadn't all 
my constitution. They got rheumatic about the legs and arms, and 
went ijito kitchens and other hospitals ; and one of 'era, with long ser- 
vice and hard usage, positively lost his senses: — he got so crazy that 
he was obliged to be burnt. Shocking thing that, Tom.* 

" ' Dreadful ! ' said Tom Smart. 

" The old fellow paused for a few minutes, apparently struggling 
with his feelings of emotion, and then said, 

" * However, Tom, I am wandering from the point. This tall man, 
Tom, is a rascally adventurer. The moment he married the widow, he 
would sell off all the furniture, and run away. What would be the 
consequence? She would be deserted and reduced to ruin, and I 
should catch my death of cold in some broker's shop.' 

"' Yes, but—' 

"* Don't interrupt me/ said the old gentleman. * Of you, Tom, I 
entertain a very different opinion ; for I well know that if you once set- 
tled yourself in a public house, you would never leave it, as long as there 
was anything to drink within its walls.' 

" * I am very much obliged to you for your good opinion, Sir,' said 
Tom Smart. 

" * Therefore,' resumed the old gentleman, in a dictatorial tone ; * you 
shall have her, and he shall not.* 

" ' What is to prevent it ? ' said Tom Smart, eagerly. 

"*This disclosure,' replied the old gentleman; * he is already 

" * How can I prove it ? ' said Tom, starting half out of bed. 

" The old gentleman untucked his arm from his side, and having 
pointed to one of the oaken presses, immediately replaced it, in its old 

*' ' He little thinks/ said the old gentleman, * that in the right hand 
pocket of a pair of trousers in that press, he has left a letter, entreating 
him to return to his disconsolate wife, with six — mark me, Tom — six 
babes, and all of them small ones.' 

" As the old gentleman solemnly uttered these words, his features grew 
less and less distinct, and his figure more shadowy. A film came over 
Tom Smart's eyes. The old man seemed gradually blending into the 
chair, the damask waistcoat to resolve into a cushion, the red slippers to 
shrink into little red cloth bags. The light faded gently away, and Tom 
Smart fell back on his pillow, and dropped asleep. 

" Morning roused Tom from the lethargic slumber, into which he had 
fallen on the disappearance of the old man. He sat up in bed, and for 
some minutes vainly endeavoured to recal the events of the preceding 
night. Suddenly they rushed upon him. He looked at the chair, 
it was a fantastic and grim-looking piece of furniture, certainly, but ic 
must have been a remarkably ingenious and lively imagination, that 
could have discovered any resemblance between it and an old man. 

" * How are you, old boy ? ' said Tom. He was bolder in the day- 
light — most men are. 

144 posTHur/fOus papers of 

" The chair remained motionless, and spoke not a word. 

'^ * Miserable morning,' said Tom. No. The chair would not be 
drawn into conversation. 

" ' Which press did you point to ? — you can tell me that,' said Tom. 
Devil a word, gentlemen, the chair would say. 

" ' It's not much trouble to open it, any how/ said Tom, getting out 
of bed very deliberately. He walked up to one of the presses. The 
key was in the lock ; he turned it, and opened the door. There was a 
pair of trousers there. He put his hand into the pocket, and drew forth 
the identical letter the old gentleman had described ! 
, " * Queer sort of thing, this,' said Tom Smart ; looking first at the 
chair and then at the press, and then at the letter, and then at the 
chair again. ^ Very queer/ said Tom. But as there was nothing in 
either to lessen the queerness, he thought he might as well dress him- 
self, and settle the tall man's business at once — -just to put him out of 
his misery. 

" Tom surveyed the rooms he passed though, on his way down stairs, 
with the scrutinising eye of a landlord ; thinking it not impossible, that 
before long, they and their contents would be his property. The tall 
man was standing in the snug little bar, with his hands behind him, 
quite at home. He grinned vacantly at Tom. A casual observer 
might have supposed he did it, only to show his white teeth ; but Tom 
Smart thought that a consciousness of triumph was passing through the 
place where the tall man's mind would have been, if he had had any. 
Tom laughed in his face ; and summoned the landlady. 

" * Good morning. Ma'am,' said Tom Smart, closing the door of the 
little parlour as the widow entered. 

" ' Good morning. Sir,' said the widow. ' What will you take for 
breakfast. Sir ? ' ) 

" Tom was thinking how he should open the case, so he made no ^ 

a i There's a very nice ham,' said the widow, * and a beautiful cold 
larded fowl. Shall I send 'em in. Sir ? ' 

" These words roused Tom from his reflections. His admiration of 
the widow increased as she spoke. Thoughtful creature ! Comfortable 
provider ! " 

" * Who is that gentleman in the bar. Ma'am ? ' inquired Tom. 

*' ' His name is Jinkins, Sir,' said the widow, slightly blushing. 

" * He's a tall man,' said Tom. 

" ' He is a very fine man, Sir,' replied the widow, * and a very nice 

« * Ah I ' said Tom. 

" * Is there anything more you want, Sir ? ' inquired the widow, rather 
puzzled by Tom's manner. 

« < Why, yes,' said Tom. ' My dear Ma'am, will you have the kind- 
ness to sit down for one moment ? ' 

. ** The widow looked much amazed, but she sat down, and Tom sat 
down too, close beside her. I don't know how it happened, gentlemen — • 
indeed my uncle used to tell me that Tom Smart said he didn't know 
how it happened either — but somehow or other the palm of Tom's 


hand fell upon the back of the widow's hand, and remained there while 
he spoke. 

'< * My dear ^Nla'am,' said Tom Smart — he had always a great notion 
of committing the amiable — *' My dear Ma'am, you de:jerve a very 
excellent husband ; — you do indeed.' 

" * Lor, Sir ! ' said the widow — as well she might ; Tom's mode of 
commencing the conversation being rather unusual, not to say startling, 
the fact of his never having set eyes upon her before the previous 
night, being taken into consideration. ' Lor, Sir I ' 

" ' I scorn to flatter, my dear Ma'am,' said Tom Smart. * You 
deserve a very admirable husband, and whoever he is, he'll be a very 
lucky man.' As Tom said this, his eye involuntarily wandered froai 
the widow's face to the comforts around him. 

" The widow looked more puzzled than ever, and made an effort to 
rise. Tom gently pressed her hand, as if to detain her, and she kept 
her seat. Widows, gentlemen, are not usually timorous, as my uncle 
used to say. 

" * I am sure I am very much obliged to you. Sir, for your good 
opinion,' said the buxom landlady, half laughing ; ' and if ever 1 marry 
again ' — 

'' * Ifi' said Tom Smart, looking very shrewdly out at the right-hand 
corner of his left eye. ' If'-^ 

" * Well/ said the widow, laughing outright this time. " When I 
do, I hope I shall have as good a husband as you describe.' 

" ' Jinkins to wit,' said Tom. 

" * Lor, Sir ! ' exclaimed the widow. 

" * Oh, don't tell me,' said Tom, ' I know him.' 

" * I am sure nobody who knows him, knows anything bad of him,' said 
the widow, bridling up at the mysterious air with which Tom had spoken. 

" ' Hem,' said Tom Smart. 

" The widow began to think it was high time to cry, so she took out 
her handkerchief, and inquired whether Tom wished to insult her, 
whether he thought it like a gentleman to take away the character of 
another gentleman behind his back, why, if he had got anything to pay, 
he didn't say it to the man, like a man, instead of terrifying a poor weak 
woman in that way; and so forth. 

" * I'll say it to him fast enough,' said Tom, ' only I want you to 
hear it first.' 

" * What is it ? ' inquired the widow, looking intently in Tom's coun- 

" * I'll astonish you,' said Tom, putting his hand in his pocket. 

** * If it is, that he wants money,' said the widow, * I know that 
already, and you needn't trouble yourself.' 

" ' Pooh, nonsense, that's nothing,' said Tom Smart, ; ' /want money 
'Tan't that. 

" * Oh deai^ what can it be?' exclaimed the poor widow. 

" ' Don't be frightened,' said Tom Smart. He slowly drew fortli 
the letter, and unfolded it. * You won't scream? ' said Tom, doubtfully. 

" * No, no,' replied the widow ; ' let me see it.' 

" * You won't go fainting away, or any of that nonsense ? ' said Tom. 


*' * No, no,' returned the widow, hastily. 

'* * And don't run out, and blow him up/ said Tom, * because I'll do 
all that for you ; you had better not exert yourself.' 

" * Well, well/ said the widow, * let me see it.' 

" * I will/ replied Tom Smart; and, with these words, he placed the,; 
letter in the widow's hand. 

<* Gentlemen, I have heard my uncle say, that Tom Smart said, the 
widow's lamentations when she heard the disclosure would have pierced 
a heart of stone. Tom was certainly very tender-hearteeil, but they 
pierced his, to the very core. The widow rocked herself to and fro, and 
wrung- her hands. 

" ' Oh, the deception and villainy of the man ! ' said the widow. 

<i i Frightful, my dear Ma'am; but compose yourself,' said Tom Smart. 

" * Oh, I can't compose myself/ shrieked the widow. * I shall never 
find any one else I can love so much ! * 

" ' Oh yes you will, my dear soul,' said Tom Smart, letting fall a 
shower of -the largest-sized tears, in pity for the widow's misfortunes. 
Tom Smart, in the energy of his compassion, had put his arm round 
the widow's waist ; and the widow, in a passion of grief, had clasped 
Tom's hand. She looked up in Tom's face, and smiled through her 
tears. Tom looked down in her's, and smiled through his. 

'' I never could find out, gentlemen, whether Tom did or did not kiss 
the widow at that particular moment. He used to tell my uncle he 
didn't, but I have my doubts about it. Between ourselves, gentlemen, 
I rather think he did. 

" At all events, Tom kicked the very tall man out at the front door 
half an hour after, and married the widow a month after. And he used 
to drive about the country, with the clay-coloured gig with the red 
wheels, and the vixenish mare with the fast pace, till he gave up busi- 
ness many years afterwards, and went to France with his wife ; and then 
the old house was pulled down." 

" Will you allow me to ask you," said the inquisitive old gentleman^ 
" what became of the chair ? " 

" Why," replied the one-eyed bagman, '' it was observed to creak 
very much on the day of the wedding ; but Tom Smart couldn't say 
for certain, whether it was with pleasure or bodily infirmity. He rather 
thought it was the latter, though, for it never spoke afterwards." 

" Everybody believed the story, didn't they ? " said the dirty-faced 
man, re-filhng his pipe. 

" Except Tom's enemies," replied the bagman. " Some of 'em said 
Tom invented it altogether; and others said he was drunk, and fancied 
it, and got hold of the wrong trousers by mistake before he went to 
bed. But nobody ever minded what they said." 

*' Tom Smart said it was all true ? " 

" Every word." 

*' And your uncle ? " 

" Every letter." 

" They must have been nice men, both of 'em;" said the dirty-feced man. 

*' Yes, they were," replied the bagman; '< very nice men indeed I" 




Mr. Pickwick's conscience had been somewhat reproaching him, for 
his recent neglect of his friends at the Peacock ; and he was just on the 
point of walking forth in quest of them, on the third morning after the 
election had terminated, when his faithful valet put into his hand a 
card, on which was engraved the following inscription. 

iWrs. Hefi l^nnter. 

The Den. EatanswilL 

" Person's a waitin'," said Sam, epigrammatically. 

" Does the person want me, Sam ? " inquired Mr. Pickwick. 

*< He wants you partickler; and no one else'll do, as the Devil's 
private secretary said, ven he fetched avay Doctor Faustus," replied 
Mr. Weller. 

" He. Is it a gentleman ? "said Mr. Pickwick. 

" A wery good imitation o' one, if it an't," replied Mr. Welbr. 

" But this is a lady's card," said Mr. Pickwick. 

" Given me by a gen'lm'n, hows'ever," replied Sam, *' and he's a 
waitin' in the drawing-room — said he'd rather wait all day, than not see 

Mr. Pickwick on hearing this determination, descended to the 
drawing-room, where sat a grave man, who started up on his entrance, 
and said, with an air of profound respect — 

" Mr. Pickwick, I presume ? " 

*^ The same." 

" Allow me. Sir, the honour of grasping your hand — permit me Sir, 
to shake it," said the grave man. 

" Certainly," said Mr. Pickwick. 

The stranger shook the extended hand, and then continued. 

'* We have heard of your fame. Sir. The noise of your antiquarian 
discussion has reached the ears of Mrs. Leo Hunter — my wife. Sir: / 
am Mr. Leo Hunter " — the stranger paused, as if he expected that 
Mr. Pickwick would be overcome by the disclosure ; but seeing that he 
remained perfectly calm, proceeded. 

" My wife, Sir — Mrs. Leo Hunter — is proud to number among her 
acquaintance, all those who have rendered themselves celebrated by 
their works and talents. Permit me, Sir, to place in a conspicuous part 



of the list, the name of Mr. Pickwick, and his brother members of the 
chib that derives its name from him." 

" I shall be extremely happy to make the acquaintance of such a 
lady. Sir," replied Mr. Pickwick. 

" You shall make it, Sir," said the grave man. " To-morrow morning, 
Sir, we give a public breakfast — a fete champetre — to a great number of 
those who have rendered themselves celebrated by theii works and 
talents. Permit Mrs. Leo Hunter, Sir, to have the gratification of 
seeing you at the Den." 

" With great pleasure," replied Mr. Pickwick. 

" Mrs. Leo Hunter has many of these breakfasts, Sir," resumed the 
new acquaintance — " ' Feasts of reason. Sir, and flows of soul,' as some- 
body who wrote a sonnet to Mrs. Leo Hunter on her breakfasts, feel- 
ingly and originally observed." 

" Was he celebrated for his works, and talents ? " inquired Mr 

♦* He was, Sir," replied the grave man, " all Mrs. Leo Hunter's 
acquaintance are ; it is her ambition, Sir, to have no other acquain- 

" It is a very noble ambition," said Mr. Pickwick. 

" When I inform Mrs. Leo Hanter, that that remark fell from 7/our 
lips. Sir, she will indeed be proud," said the grave man. '* You have a 
gentleman in your train, who has produced some beautiful little poems, 
I think. Sir." 

*' My friend Mr. Snodgrass has a great taste for poetry," replied Mr. 

*' So has Mrs, Leo Hunter, Sir. She dotes on poetry. Sir. She 
adores it; I may say that her whole soul and mind are wound up, and 
entwined with it. She has produced some delightful pieces, herself, 
►Sir. You may have met with her ' Ode to an expiring Frog,' Sir." 

" I don't think I have," said Mr. Pickwick. 

"You astonish me. Sir," said Mr. Leo Hunter. "It created an 
immense sensation. It was signed with an *L' and eight stars, and 
appeared originally in a Lady's Magazine. It commenced 

" Can I view thee panting, lying 
On thy stomach, wthout sighing; 
Can I unmoved see thee dying 

On a log, 
Expiring fi'og !'' 

" Beautiful ! " said Mr. Pickwick. 

" Fine," said Mr. Leo Hunter, '' so simple." 

" Very," said Mr. Pickwick. 

'* The next verse is still more touching. Shall I repeat it ? " 

"If you please," said Mr. Pickwick. 

" It runs thus," said the grave man, still more gravely. 

" Say, have fiends in shape of boys, 
With wild halloo, and brutal noise, 
Hunted thee from marshy joys, 

With a dog, 
Expiring frog ! " 


" Finely expressed," said Mr. Pickwick. 

** All point, Sir, all point," said Mr, Leo Hunter, '' l*ut you bliail 
hear Mrs. Leo Hunter repeat it. She can do justice to it, Sir. She 
will repeat it, in character, Sir, to-morrow morning-." 

*' In character ! " 

" As Minerva. But 1 forgot — it's a fancy dress dejeune." 

'' Dear me," said Mr. Pickwick, glancing- at his own figure — " I can't 
possibly " — 

" Can't Sir ; can't ! " exclaimed Mr. Leo Hunter. " Solomon Lucas 
the Jew in the High Street, has thousands of fancy dresses. Consider, 
Sir, how many appropriate characters are open for your selection. 
Plato, Zeno, Epicurus, Pythagoras— all founders of clubs." 

" I know that," said Mr. Pickwick, *' but as I cannot put myself in 
competition with those great men, I cannot presume to wear their 

The grave man considered deeply, for a few seconds, and then said, 

" On reflection. Sir, I don't know whether it would not afford Mrp. 
Leo Hunter greater pleasure, if her guests saw a gentleman of your 
celebrity in his own costume, rather than in an assumed one. I may 
venture to promise an exception in your case, Sir — yes, I am quite 
certain that on behalf of Mrs. Leo Hunter, I may venture to do so." 

" In that case," said Mr. Pickwick, '^ I shall have great pleasure in 

" But I waste your time. Sir," said the grave man, as if suddenly- 
recollecting himself. '* I know its value. Sir. I will not detain you. I 
may tell Mrs. Leo Hunter, then, that she may confidently expect you 
and your distinguished friends? Good morning, Sir, I am proud to 
have beheld so eminent a personage — not a step. Sir; not a word." 
And without giving Mr. Pickwick time to offer remonstrance or denial 
Mr. Leo Hunter stalked gravely away. 

Mr. Pickwick took up his hat, and repaired to the Peacock, but Mr. 
Winkle had conveyed the intelligence of the fancy ball there, before 

" Mrs. Pott's going," were the first words with which he saluted his 

" Is she ? " said Mr. Pickwick. 

" As Apollo," replied Mr. Winkle. " Only Pott objects to the 

" He is right. He is quite right," said Mr. Pickwick emphatically. 

" Yes ; — so she's going to wear a white satin gown with gold 

" They'll hardly know what she's meant for ; will they ? " inquired 
Mr. Snodgrass. 

" Of course they will," replied Mr. Winkle indignantly. " They'll 
see her lyre, won't they ? *' 

" True ; " I forgot that," said Mr. Snodgrass. 

" I shall go as a Bandit," interposed Mr. Tupman. 

" What ! " said Mr. Pickwick, with a sudden start. 

" As a bandit," repeated INIr. Tupman, mildly. 

o 2 


" You don't mean to say," said Mr. Pickwick, g-azing; with solemn 
sternness at his friend," You don't mean to say, Mr. Tup man, that 
it is your intention to put yourself into a ?reen velvet jacket, with a 
two- inch tail ? " 

*' Such is my intention, Sir," replied Mr. Tupraan warmly. '» And 
why not, Sir?" 

" Because Sir," said Mr. Pickwick, considerably excited — *• Because 
you are too old, Sir." 

" Too old ! " exclaimed Mr. Tupman. 

" And if any further ground of objection be wanting-," continued Mr. 
Pickwick, ^' you are too fat. Sir." 

" Sir," said Mr. Tupman, his face suffused with a crimson glow, 
*' This is an insult." 

" Sir," replied Mr. Pickwick in the same tone, " It is not half the 
insult to you, that your appearance in my presence in a green velvet 
jacket, with a two-inch tail, would be to me." 

" Sir," said Mr. Tupman, " you're a fellow." 

" Sir," said Mr. Pickwick, " you're another ! " 

Mr. Tupman advanced a step or two, and glared at Mr. Pickwick. 
Mr. Pickwick returned the glare, concentrated into a focus by means of 
his spectacles, and breathed a bold defiance. Mr. Snodgrass and Mr. 
Winkle, looked on, petrified at beholding such a scene between two 
such men. 

" Sir," said Mr. Tupraan, after a short pause, speaking in a low, deep 
voice, " you have called me old." 

•' I have," said Mr. Pickwick. 

" And fat." 

*' I reiterate the charge." 

" And a fellow." 

" So you are I " 

There was a fearful pause. 

" My attachment to your person. Sir," said Mr, Tupman, sneaking 
in a voice tremulous with emotion, and tucking up his wristbands mean- 
while, " is great — very great — but upon that person, I must take sum- 
mary vengeance." 

" Come on. Sir," replied Mr. Pickwick. Stimulated by the exciting 
nature of the dialogue, the heroic man actually threw himself into a 
paralytic attitude, confidently supposed by the two by-standers to have 
been intended as a posture of defence. 

** What ! " exclaimed Mr. Snodgrass, suddenly recovering the power 
of speech, of which intense astonishment had previously bereft him, 
and rushing between the two, at the imminent hazard of receiving an 
application on the temple from each. " What ! Mr. Pickwick, with 
the eyes of the world upon you ! Mr. Tupman I who, in common with 
us all, derives a lustre from his undying name ! For- shame, gentlemen ; 
for shame." 

The unwonted lines which momentary passion had ruled in Mr. 
Pickwick's ckar and open brow, gradually melted away, as his young 
friend" spoke, like the marks of a black-lead pencil beneath the soften- 



ing influence of India rubber. His countenance had resumed it« usual 
benign expression ere he concluded. 

" I have been hasty," said Mr. Pickwick, " very hasty. Tupman ; 
your hand." 

The dark shadow passed from Mr. Tupman 's face, as he warmly 
grasped the hand of his friend. 

" 1 have been hasty, too," said he. 

** No, no," interrupted Mr. Pickwick, " the fault was mine. You 
will wear the green velvet jacket ? " 

" No, no," replied Mr. Tupman. 

*' To oblige me, you will," resumed Mr. Pickwick. 

*' Well, well, I will," said Mr. Tupman. 

It was accordingly settled that Mr. Tupman, Mr. Winkle, and Mr. 
Snodgrass, should all wear fancy dresses. Thus Mr. Pickwick was led 
by the very warmth of his own good feelings to give his consent to a 
proceeding from which his better judgment would have recoiled— a 
more striking illustration of his amiable character could hardly have 
been conceived, even if the events recorded in these pages had been 
wholly imaginary. 

Mr. Leo Hunter had not exaggerated the resources of Mr. Solomon 
Lucas. His wardrobe was extensive — very extensive — not strictly 
classical perhaps, nor quite new, nor did it contain any one garment 
made precisely after the fashion of any age or time, but every thing was 
more or less spangled ; and what can be prettier than spangles ? It 
may be objected that they are not adapted to the daylight, but everybody 
knows that they would glitter if there were lamps ; and nothing can be 
clearer than that if people give fancy balls in the day-time, and the 
dresses do not show quite as well as they would by night, the fault lies 
solely with the people who give the fancy balls, and is in no wise 
chargeable on the spangles. Such was the convincing reasoning of 
Mr. Solomon Lucas ; and influenced by such arguments did Mr. 
Tupman, Mr. Winkle, and Mr. Snodgrass, engage to array themselves 
in costumes which his taste and experience induced him to recommend 
as admirably suited to the occasion. 

A carriage was hired from the Town Arms, for the accommodation 
of the Pickwickians, and a chariot was ordered from the same repository, 
for the purpose of conveying Mr. and Mrs. Pott to Mrs. Leo Hunter's 
grounds, which Mr. Pott, as a delicate acknowledgment of having 
received an invitation, had already confidently predicted in the Eatanswill 
Gazette " would present a scene of varied and delicious enchantment — 
a bewildering coruscation of beauty and talent — ^a lavish and prodigal 
display of hospitality — above all, a degree of splendour softened by the 
Jbost exquisite taste ; and adornment refined with perfect harmony and 
the chastest good-keeping — compared with which, the fabled gorgeous- 
ness of Eastern Fairy Land itself, would appear to be clothed in as many 
dark and murky colours, as must be the mind of the splenetic and unmanly 
being who could presume to taint with the venom of his envy, the 
preparations making by the virtuous and highly distinguished lady, at 
whose shrine this humble tribute of admiration was offered." This last 


was a piece of biting sarcasm against the Independent, who in conse- 
quence of not having been invited at all, had been through four numbers 
affecting to sneer at the whole affair, in his very largest type, with all 
the adjectives in capital letters. 

The morning came ; it was a pleasant sight to behold Mr. Tupman in 
full Brigand's costume, with a very tight jacket, sitting like a pincushion 
over his back and shoulders : the upper portion of his legs encased in the 
velvet shorts, and the lower part thereof swathed in the complicated 
bandages to which all Brigands are peculiarly attached. It was pleasing 
to see his open and ingenuous countenance, well mustachioed and corked, 
looking out from an open shirt collar ; and to contemplate the sugar-loaf 
hat, decorated with ribbons of all colours, which he was compelled to 
carry on his knee, inasmuch as no known conveyance with a top to it, 
would admit of any man's carrying it between his head and the roof. 
Equally humourous and agreeable, was the appearance of Mr. Snodgrass 
in blue satin trunks and cloak, white silk tights and shoes, and Grecian 
helmet, which everybody knows (and if they do not, Mr. Solomon 
Lucas did) to have been the regular, authentic, every-day costume of a 
Troubadour, from the earliest ages down to the time of their final disap- 
pearance from the face of the earth. All this was pleasant, but this 
was as nothing compared with the shouting of the populace when the 
carriage drew up, behind Mr. Pott's chariot, which chariot itself drew 
up at Mr. Pott's door, which door itself opened, and displayed the great 
Pott accoutred as a Russian officer of justice, with a tremendous knout 
in his hand — tastefully typical of the stern and mighty power of the 
Eatanswill Gazette, and the fearful lashings it bestowed on public 

"■ Bravo ! " shouted Mr. Tupman and Mr. Snodgrass from the passage, 
when they beheld the walking allegory. 

" Bravo I " Mr. Pickwick was heard to exclaim, from the passage. 

" Hoo — ^roar Pott," shouted the populace. Amid these salutations, 
Mr. Pott, smihng with that kind of bland dignity which sufficiently 
testified that he felt his power, and knew how to exert it, got into the 

Then there emerged from the house, Mrs. Pott, who would have 
looked very like Apollo if she hadn't had a gown on : conducted by Mr. 
Winkle, who in his light red-coat, could not possibly have been mis- 
taken for any thing but a sportsman, if he had not borne an equal 
resemblance to a general postman. Last of all, came Mr. Pickwick, 
whom the boys applauded as loudly as anybody, probably under the 
impression that his tights and gaiters were some remnants of the dark 
ages ; and then the two vehicles proceeded towards Mrs. Leo Hunter's, 
Mr. Weller (who was to assist in waiting) being stationed on the box 
of that in which his master was seated. 

Every one of the men, women, boys, girls, and babies, who were 
assembled to see the visiters in their fancy dresses, screamed with delight 
and extasy, when Mr. Pickwick, with the Brigand on one arm, and 
the Troubadour on the other, walked solemnly up the entrance. Never 
were such shouts heard, as thor^e which giceted Mr. Tupman's efforts 




to fix the sugar-loaf hat on his head, by way of entering the in 

The preparations were on the most delightful scale ; fully realising 
the prophetic Pott's anticipations about the gorgeousness of Eastern 
Fairy-land, and at once affording a sufficient contradiction to the 
malignant statements of the reptile Independent. The grounds were 
more than an acre and a quarter in extent, and they were tilled with 
people ! Never was such a blaze of beauty, and fashion, and literature. 
There was the young lady who "did" the poetry in the Eatanswill 
Gazette, in the garb of a sultana, leaning upon the arm of the young 
gentleman who " did" the review department, and who was appro- 
priately habited in a field marshal's uniform — the boots excepted. 
There were hosts of these geniuses, and any reasonable person 
would have thought it honour enough to meet them. But more than 
these, there were half a dozen lions from London — authors, real authors, 
who had written whole books, and printed them afterwards — and here you 
might see 'em, walking about, like ordinary men, smiling, and talking — 
aye, and talking pretty considerable nonsense too, no doubt with the 
benign intention of rendering themselves intelligible to the common 
people about them. Moreover, there was a band of music in pasteboard 
caps ; four something-ean singers in the costume of their country, and 
a dozen hired waiters in the costume of thei7' country — and very dirty 
costume too. And above all, there was Mrs. Leo Hunter in the character 
of Minerva, receiving the company, and overflowing with pride and 
gratification at the notion of having called such distinguished individuals 

" Mr. Pickwick, Ma'am," said a servant, as that gentleman approached 
the presiding goddess, with his hat in his hand, and the Brigand and 
Troubadour on either arm. 

" What — where ! " exclaimed Mrs. Leo Hunter, starting up, in an 
affected rapture of surprise. 
" Here," said Mr. Pickwick, 

" Is it possible that I have really the gratification of beholding Mr. 
Pickwick himself I " ejaculated Mrs. Leo Hunter. 

*' No other, Ma'am," replied Mr. Pickwick, bowing very low. '' Per- 
mit me to introduce my friends — Mr. Tupman — Mr. Winkle— Mr. 
Snodgrass — to the authoress of' The Expiring Frog.' " 

Very few people but those who have tried it, know what a difficult 
process it is, to bow in green velvet smalls, and a tight jacket and high- 
crowned-hat, or in blue satin trunks and white silks, or knee-cords and 
top-boots that were never made for the wearer, and have been fixed upon 
him without the remotest reference to the comparative dimensions of 
himself and the suit. Never were such distortions as Mr. Tupman's 
frame underwent in his efforts to appear easy and graceful — never was 
such ingenious posturing, as his fancy-dressed friends exhibited. 

" Mr. Pickwick," said Mrs. Leo Hunter, " I must make you promise 
not to stir from my side the whole day. There are hundreds of people 
here, that I must positively introduce you to." 


*' You are very kind, Ma'am," said Mr. Pickwick. 
" In the first place, here are my little girls ; I had almost forgotten 
them," said Minerva, carelessly pointing towards a couple of full-grown 
young ladies, of whom one might be about twenty, and the other a year 
or two older, and who were dressed in very juvenile costumes — whether 
to make them look young, or their mamma younger, Mr. Pickwick does 
not distinctly inform us. 

" They are very beautiful," said Mr. Pickwick, as the juveniles turned 
away, after being presented. 

" They are very like their mamma, Sir," said Mr. Pott, majestically. 
" Oh you naughty man," exclaimed Mrs. Leo Hunter, playfully 
tapping the Editor's arm with her fan (Minerva with a fan I) 

" Why now, my dear Mrs. Hunter," said Mr. Pott, who was trum- 
peter in ordinary at the Den, " you know that when your picture was in 
the Exhibition of the Royal Academy, last year, everybody inquired 
whether it was intended for you, or your youngest daughter ; for you 
were so much alike that there was no telling the difference between you." 
" Well, and if they did, why need you repeat it, before strangers ? " 
said Mrs. Leo Hunter, bestowing another tap on the slumbering lion of 
the Eatanswill Gazette. 

" Count, Count," screamed Mrs. Leo Hunter to a well- whiskered 
individual in a foreign uniform, who was passing by. 
"Ah ! you want me ?" said the Count, turning back. 
" I want to introduce two very clever people to each other," said 
Mrs. Leo Hunter. " Mr. Pickwick, I have great pleasure in introducing 
you to Count Smorltork." She added in a hurried whisper to Mr, 
Pickwick — " the famous foreigner — gathering materials for his great 
work on England — hem ! — Count Smorltork, Mr. Pickwick." 

Mr. Pickwick saluted the Count with all the reverence due to so 
great a man, and the Count drew forth a set of tablets. 

" What you say, Mrs. Hunt ? " inquired the Count, smiling graci- 
ously on the gratified Mrs. Leo Hunter, " Pig Vig or Big Vig— what 
you call — Lawyer — eh? I see — that is it. Big Vig" — and the Count 
was proceeding to enter Mr. Pickwick in his tablets, as a gentleman of 
the long- robe, who derived his name from the profession to which he 
belonged, when Mrs. Leo Hunter interposed. 
" No, no, Count," said the lady, " Pick-wick." 

" Ah, ah, I see," replied the Count. " Peek — christian name ; 
Weeks — surname ; good, ver good. Peek Weeks. How you do Weeks ? " 
" Quite well, I thank you," replied Mr. Pickwick, with all his usual 
affability. " Have you been long in England ? " 
" Long — ver long time — fortnight — more." 
'* Do you stay here long? " 
*' One week." 

" You will have enough to do," said Mr. Pickwick, smiling, " to 
gather all the materials you want, in that time." 
" Eh, they are gathered," said the Count. 
♦* Indeed ! " said Mr. Pickwick. 




" They are here," added the Count, tapping his forehead significantly. 
" Large book at home — full of notes — music, picture, science, potry, 
poltic ; all tings." 

'* The word politics, Sir," said Mr. Pickwick, *' comprises, in itself, a 
difficult study of no inconsiderable magnitude." 

" Ah ! " said the Count, drawing out the tablets again, " ver good — 
fine words to begin a chapter. Chapter forty-seven. Poltics. The 
word poltic surprises by himself — " And down went Mr. Pickwick's 
remark, in Count Smorltork's tablets, with such variations and additions 
as the Count's exuberant fancy suggested, or his imperfect knowledge 
of the language, occasioned. 

" Count," said Mrs. Leo Hunter. 

" Mrs. Hunt," replied the Count. 

" This is Mr. Snodgrass, a friend of Mr. Pickwick's, and a poet." 

" Stop," exclaimed the Count, bringing out the tablets once more. 
" Head, potry — chapter, literary friends — name, Snowgrass ; ver good. 
Introduced to Snowgrass — great poet, friend of Peek Weeks — by Mrs. 
Hunt, which wrote other sweet poem — what is that name ? — Frog — 
Perspiring Frog — ver good — ver good indeed." And the Count put up 
his tablets, and with sundry bows and acknowledgments walked away, 
thoroughly satisfied that he had made the most important and valuable 
additions to his stock of information. 

" Wonderful man. Count Smorltork," said Mrs. Leo Hunter. 

" Sound philosopher," said Pott. 

" Clear-headed, strong-minded person," added Mr. Snodgrass. 

A chorus of by-standers took up the shout of Count Smorltork's 
praise, shook their heads sagely, and unanimously cried " Very ! " 

As the enthusiasm in Count Smorltork's favour ran very high, his 
praises might have been sung until the end of the festivities, if the four 
something-ean singers had not ranged themselves in front of a small 
apple-tree, to look picturesque, and commenced singing their national 
songs, which appeared by no means difficult of execution, inasmuch as the 
grand secret seemed to be, that three of the something-ean singers should 
grunt, while the fourth howled. This interesting performance having 
concluded amidst the loud plaudits of the whole company, a boy forthwith 
proceeded to entangle himself with the rails of a chair, and to jump 
over it, and crawl under it, and fall down with it, and do every thing 
but sit upon it, and theu to make a cravat of his legs, and tie them 
round his neck, and then to illustrate the ease with which a human 
being can be made to look like a magnified toad — all which feats 
yielded high delight and satisfaction to the assembled spectators. After 
which, the voice of Mrs. Pott was heard to chirp faintly forth, some- 
thing which courtesy interpreted into a song, which was all very classical, 
and strictly in character, because Apollo was himself a composer, and 
composers can very seldom sing their own music or anybody else's, 
either. This was succeeded by Mrs. Leo Hunter's recitation of her 
far-famed ode to an Expiring Frog, which was encored once, and would 
have been encored twice, if the major part of the guests, who thought 


it was high time to get something to eat, had not said that it was per- 
fectly shameful to take advantage of Mrs. Hunter's good nature. So 
although Mrs. Leo Hunter professed her perfect willingness to recite 
the ode again, her kind and considerate friends wouldn't hear of it on 
any account ; and the refreshment room being thrown open, all the 
people who had ever been there before, scrambled in with all possible 
despatch : Mrs. Leo Hunter's usual course of proceeding, being, to issue 
cards for a hundred, and breakfast for fifty, or in other words to feed 
only the very particular lions, and let the smaller animals take care of 

" Where is Mr. Pott ?" said Mrs. Leo Hunter, as she placed the 
aforesaid lions around her. 

<' Here I am," said the editor, from the very furthest end of the 
room ; far beyond all hope of food, unless something was done for him 
by the hostess. 

" Won't you come up here? " 

" Oh pray don't mind him," said Mrs. Pott, in the most obliging 
voice — " you give yourself a great deal of unnecessary trouble, Mrs. 
Hunter. You'll do very well there, won't yoU' — dear." 

" Certainly — love," replied the unhappy Pott, with a grim smile. 
Alas for the knout I The nervous arm that wielded it, with such 
gigantic force upon public characters^ was paralysed beneath the glance 
of the imperious Mrs. Pott. 

Mrs. Leo Hunter looked round her, in triumph. Count Smorltork 
was busily engaged in taking notes of the contents of the dishes ; Mr. 
Tupman was doing the honours of the lobster salad to several lionesses, 
with a degree of grace which no Brigand ever exhibited before ; Mr. 
Snodgrass having cut out the young gentleman who cut up the books 
for the Eatanswill Gazette, was engaged in an impassioned argument 
with the young lady who did the poetry : and Mr. Pickwick was making 
himself universally agreeable. Nothing seemed wanting to render the 
select circle complete, when Mr. Leo Hunter — whose department on 
these occasions, was to stand about in door-ways, and talk to the less 
important people — suddenly called out — 

" My dear; here's Mr. Charles Firz-Marshall." 

" Oh dear," said Mrs. Leo Hunter, " how anxiously I have been 
expecting him. Pray make room, to let Mr. Fitz- Marshall pass. Tell 
Mr. Fitz-Marshall, my dear, to come up to me directly, to be scolded 
for coming so late." 

" Coming, my dear Ma'am," cried a voice, " as quick as I can^ 
crowds of people — full room — hard work — very." 

Mr. Pickwick's knife and fork fell from his hand. He stared across 
the table at Mr. Tupman, who had dropped his knife and fork, and was 
looking as if he were about to sink into the ground without further 

" Ah ! " cried the voice, as its owner pushed his way among the last 
five and twenty Turks, officers, cavaliers, and Charles the Seconds, that 
remained between him and the table, " regular mangle — Baker's patent — 
not ii crease in my coat, after all this squeezing — might have * got up 



my linen, as I came ulong: — ha ! ha! not a bad idea, lluit. — rjueer things 
to have it mangled when it's upon one, though— trying process— very." 

With these broken words, a young man dressed as a naval officer 
made his way up to the table, and presented to the astonished Pick- 
wickians, the identical form and features of Mr. Alfred Jing^le. 

The offender had barely time to take Mrs. Leo Hunter's proffered 
hand, when his eyes encountered the indignant orbs of Mr. Pickwick. 

" Hallo! " said Jingle. " Quite forgot — no directions to postilion — 
give 'em at once — back in a minute." 

" The servant, or Mr. Hunter will do it in a moment, Mr. Fitz- 
Marshall," said Mrs. Leo Hunter. 

" No, no— I'll do it— shan't be long — back in no time," replied 
Jingle. With these words he disappeared among the crowd. 

" Will you allow me to ask you, Ma'am," said the excited Mr. Pick- 
wick, rising from his seat, " who that young man is, and where he 
resides ? " 

" He is a gentleman of fortune, Mr. Pickwick," said Mis. Leo 
Hunter, " to whom I very much want to introduce you. The Count 
will be delighted with him.'' 

" Yes, yes," said Mr. Pickwick, hastily. " His residence — " 

" Is at present at the Angel at Bury." 

" At Bury?" 

" At Bury St. Edmunds, not many miles from here. But dear me, 
Mr. Pickw ick, you are not going to leave us : surely Mr. Pickwick you 
cannot think of going so soon." 

But long before Mrs. Leo Hunter bad finished speaking, Mr. Pick- 
wick had plunged through the throng, and reached the garden, whither 
he was shortly afterwards joined by Mr. Tupman, who had followed his 
friend closely. 

** It's of no use," said Mr. Tupman. *' He has gone." 

" I know it," said Mr. Pickwick, " and I will follow him." 

" Follow him. W^herv^?" inquired Mr. Tupman. 

" To the Angel at Bury," replied Mr. Pickwick, speaking very 
quickly. "• How do we know whom he is deceiving there ? He deceived 
a worthy man once, and we were the innocent cause. He shall not do 
it again, if I can help it ; I'll expose him. Sam ! Where's my 
servant ? " 

" Here you are. Sir," said Mr. W^eller, emerging from a sequestered 
spot, where he had been engaged in discussing a bottle of Madeira, 
which he had abstracted from the break fast -table, an hour or two before. 
" Here's your servant. Sir. Proud o' the title, as the Living Skellinton 
said, ven they show'd him." 

'* Follow me instantly," said Mr. Pickwick. " Tupman, if I stay at 
Bury, you can join me there, when I write. Till then, good-bye." 

Remonstrances were useless. Mr. Pickwick was roused, and his 
mind was made up. Mr. Tupman returned to his companions ; and in 
another hour had drowned all present recollection of Mr. Alfred Jingle, 
or Mr. Charles Fitz-Murshall, in an exhilarating quadrille and a bottle 


of champagne. By that time, Mr. Pickwick and Sana Weller, perched 
on the outside of a stage coach, were every succeeding minute placing 
a less and less distance between themselves and the good old town of 
Bury Saint Edmunds. 



There is no month in the whole year, in which nature wears a more 
beautiful appearance than in the month of August. Spring has many 
beauties, and May is a fresh and blooming month, but the charms of 
this time of year, are enhanced by their contrast with the winter season. 
August has no such advantage. It comes when we remember nothing 
but clear skies, green fields, and sweet-smelling flowers — when the 
recollection of snow, and ice, and bleak winds, has faded from our minds 
as completely as they have disappeared from the earth, — and yet what 
a pleasant time it is. Orchards and corn-fields ring with the hum of 
labour ; trees bend beneath the thick clusters of rich fruit which bow 
their branches to the ground ; and the corn, piled in graceful sheaves, 
or waving in every light breath that sweeps above it, as if it wooed the 
sickle, tinges the landscape with a golden hue. A mellow softness 
appears to hang over the whole earth ; the influence of the season seems 
to extend itself to the very wagon, whose slow motion across the 
well-reaped field, is perceptible only to the eye, but strikes with no 
harsh sound upon the. ear. 

As the coach rolls swiftly past the fields and orchards which skirt the 
road, groups of women and children, piling the fruit in sieves, or 
gathering the scattered ears of corn, pause for an instant from their 
labour, and shading the sun-burnt face with a still browner hand, gaze 
upon the passengers with curious eyes, while some stout urchin, too 
small to work, but too mischievous to be left at home, scrambles over 
the side of the basket in which he has been deposited for security, and 
kicks and screams with delight. The reaper stops in his work, and 
stands with folded arms, looking at the vehicle as it whirls past ; and 
the rough cart-horses bestow a sleepy glance upon the smart coach 
team, which says, as plainly as a horse's glance can, " It's all very fine 
to look at, but slow going, over a heavy field, is better than warm work 
like that, upon a dusty road, after all." You cast a look behind you, 
as you turn a corner of the road. The women and children have resumed 
their labour, the reaper once more stoops to his work, the cart-horses 
have moved on, and all are again in motion. 

The influence of a scene like this, was not lost upon the well-regulated 
mind of Mr. Pickwick. Intent upon the resolution he had formed, of 
exposing the real character of the nefarious Jingle, in any quarter in 



paM^ IS^ 



^hich he might be pursuing his fraudulent designs, he sat at first taci- 
turn and contemplative, brooding over the means by which his purpose 
could be best attained. By degrees his attention grew more and more 
attracted by the objects around him ; and at last he derived as much 
enjoyment from the ride, as if it had been undertaken for the pleasantest 
reason in the world. 

" Delightful prospect, Sam," said Mr. Pickwick. 

" Beats the chimbley pots, Sir," replied Mr. Weller, touching his hat. 

" I suppose you have hardly seen anything but chimney-pots and 
bricks and mortar, all your life, Sam," said Mr. Pickwick, smiling. 

" I worn't always a boots. Sir," said Mr. Weller, with a shake of the 
head. *'I was a vagginer's boy, once." 

" When was that ? " inquired Mr. Pickwick. 

** When I vas first pitched neck and crop into the world, to play at 
leap-frog with its troubles," replied Sam. " I vas a carrier's boy at 
J5tartin' : then a vagginer's, then a helper, then a boots. Now I'm a 
gen'lm'n's servant. I shall be a gen'lm'n myself one of these days, per- 
haps, with a pipe in my mouth, and a summer-house in the back 
garden. Who knows ? / shouldn't be surprised, for once." 

" You are quite a philosopher, Sam," said Mr. Pickwick. 

" It runs in the family, I b'lieve Sir," replied Mr. Weller. " My 
father's wery much in that line, now. If my mother-in-law blows him 
up, he whistles. She flies in a passion, and breaks his pipe ; he steps 
out, and gets another. Then she screams wery loud, and fahs into 
'sterics ; and he smokes wery comfortably 'till she comes to agin. 
That's philosophy Sir, an't it ? " 

" A very good substitute for it, at all events," replied Mr. Pickwick, 
laughing. " It must have been of great service to you, in the course 
of your rambling life, Sam." 

" Service Sir," exclaimed Sam. " You may say that. Arter I run 
away from the carrier, and afore I took up with the vagginer, I had 
unfurnished lodgin's for a fortnight." 

" Unfurnished lodgings?" said Mr. Pickwick. 

<« Yes — the dry arches of Waterloo Bridge. Fine sleeping-place — 
vithin ten minutes' walk of all the public offices — only if there is any 
objection to it, it is that the sitivation's rayther too airy. I see some 
queer sights there." 

" Ah, I suppose you did," said Mr. Pickwick, with an air of consider- 
able interest. 

*' Sights, Sir," resumed Mr. Weller, " as 'ud penetrate your benevo- 
lent heart, and come out on the other side. You don't see the reg'lar 
wagrants there ; trust 'em, they knows better than that. Young beggars, 
male and female, as hasn't made a rise in their profession, takes up 
their quarters there sometimes ; but it's generally the worn-out, starving, 
houseless creeturs as rolls themselves up in the dark corners o' them 
lonesome places — poor creeturs as an*t up to the twopenny rope^" 

" And pray Sam, what is the twopenny rope ? " inquired Mr, Pick 


" The twopenny rope, Sir," replied Mr. Weller, *' is just a cheap 
lodgfin'house, vere the beds is twopence a night/' 

" What do they call a bed a rope for ? " said Mr. Pickwick. 

" Bless your innocence. Sir, that a*nt it," replied Sara, " Ven the 
lady and gen'lm'n as keeps the Hot-el, first begun business, they nsed 
to make the beds on the floor ; but this wouldn't do at no price, 'cos 
instead o' taking a moderate twopenn'orth o' sleep, the lodgers used to 
lie there half the day. So now they has two ropes, 'bout six foot 
apart, and three from the floor, which goes right down the room ; and 
the beds are made of slips of coarse sacking, stretched across 'em." 

« Well," said Mr. Pickwick. 

*' Well," said Mr. Weller, " the adwantage o' the plan's hobvious! 
At six o'clock every mornin', they lets go the ropes at one end, and 
down falls all the lodgers. 'Consequence is, that being thoroughly 
waked, they get up wery quietly, and walk away ! " 

" Beg your pardon, Sir," said Sam, suddenly breaking off" in his 
loquacious discourse. " Is this Bury Saint Edmunds ? " 

*' It is," replied Mr. Pickwick. 

The coach rattled through the well paved streets of a handsome little 
town, of thriving and cleanly appearance, and stopped before a large inn 
situated in a wide open street, nearly facing the old abbey. 

" And this," said Mr. Pickwick, looking up, *^ is the Angel. Wc 
ali-^ht here, Sam. But some caution is necessary. Order a private 
room, and do not mention my name. You understand." 

*' Right as a trivet. Sir," replied Mr. Weller, with a wink of intelli- 
gence ; and having dragged Mr. Pickwick's portmanteau from the hind 
boot, into which it had been hastily thrown when they joined the coach 
at Eatanswill, Mr. Weller disappeared on his errand. A private room 
was speedily engaged ; and into it, Mr. Pickwick was ushered without 

" Now Sam," said Mr. Pickwick, " the first thing to be done is to" — 

" Order dinner. Sir," interposed Mr. Weller. " Its wery late. Sir." 

" Ah, so it is," said Mr. Pickwick, looking at his watch. '* You are 
right, Sam." 

" And if I might adwise. Sir," added Mr. Weller, " I'd just have a 
good night's rest arterwards, and not begin inquiring arter this here 
deep 'un ' till the mornin'. There's nothin' so refreshin' as sleep. Sir, 
as the servant-giri saia afore she drank the egg-cup-full o' laudanum." 

" I think you are right, Sam," said Mr. Pickwick. " But I must first 
ascertain that he is in the house, and not likely to go away." 

" Leave that to me, Sir," said Sam. " Let me order you a snug 
little dinner, and make my inquiries below while it's a getting ready; 
I could worm ev'ry secret out o* the boots's heart, in five minutes." 

" Do so," said Mr. Pickwick : and Mr. Weller at once retired. 

In half an hour, Mr. Pickwick was seated at a very satisfactory dinner ; 
and in three-quarters Mr. Weller returned with the intelligence that 
Mr. Charles Fitz-Marshall had ordered his private room to be retained 
for him, until further notice. Me was going to spend the evening at 



hoiue private house in the neighbourhood, had ordered the boots to sit 
ii]> until his return, and had taken his servant with him. 

** Now Sir," argued Mr. Weller, when he had concluded his report, 
" if I can get a talk with this here servant in the mornin', he'll tell me 
all his master's concerns." 

*' How do you know that ? *' interposed Mr. Pickwick. 

" Bless your heart. Sir, servants always do." replied ^ A'eller. 

" Oh, ah, I forgot that," said Mr. Pickwick. " Well." 

" Then you can arrange what's best to be done, Sir, and we can act 

As it appeared that this was the best arrangement that could be made, 
it was finally agreed upon. Mr. Weller, by his master's permission, 
retired to spend the evening in his own way ; and was shortly after- 
wards, elected, by the unanimous voice of the assembled company, into 
the tap-room chair, in which honourable post he acquitted himself so 
much to the satisfaction of the gentlemen-frequenters, that their roars 
of laughter and approbation penetrated to Mr. Pickwick's bed-room, 
and shortened the term of his natural rest, by at least three hours. 

Early on the ensuing morning, Mr. Weller was dispelling all the 
feverish remains of the previous evening's conviviality, through the 
instrumentahty of a halfpenny shower-bath (having induced a young 
gentleman attached to the stable-department, by the offer ot that coin, 
to pump over his head and face, until he was perfectly restored), when 
he was attracted by the appearance of a young fellow in mulberry- 
:oloured livery, who was sitting on a bench in the yard, reading what 
appeared to be a hymn-book, with an air of deep abstraction, but who 
occasionally stole a glance at the individual under the pump, as if he 
took some interest in his proceedings, neveitheless. 

" You're a rum 'un to look at, you are," thought Mr. Weller the 
first time his eyes encountered the glance of the stranger in the mul- 
berry-coloured suit, who had a large, sallow, ugly face : very sunken 
eyes, and a gigantic head, from which depended a quantity of lank 
black hair. " You're a rum 'un," thought Mr. Weller ; and thinking 
this, he went on washing himself, and thought no more about him. 

Still the man kept glancing from his hymn-book to Sam, and from 
Sam to his hymn-book, as if he wanted to open a conversation. So at 
last, Sara, by way of giving him an opportunity, said, with a famihar 
nod — 

" How are. you, governor?' 

*' I am happy to say, I am pretty well. Sir," said the man, speaking 
with great deliberation, and closing the book. " I hope you are the 
same. Sir?" 

" Why, if I felt less like a walking brandy-bottle, I shouldn't be 
quite so staggery this mornin'," replied Sam. " Are you stoppin' in 
this house, old 'un ?" 

The mulberry man replied in the affirmative. 

*' How was it, you worn't one of us, last night?" inquired Sam, 
scrubbing his face with the towel. " You seem ons of the jolly sort— 


looks as conwivial as a live trout in a lime-basket," added Mr. Weller, 
in an under tone. 
. " I was out last night, with my master," replied the strang-er. 

" What's his name?" inquired Mr. Weller, colourings up very red 
with sudden excitement, and the friction of the towel combined. 

" Fitz-Marshall," said the mulberry-man. 

" Give us your hand," said Mr. W^eller, advancing-; «* I should like 
to know you. I like your appearance, old fellow." 

" Well, that is very strange,'* said the mulberry man, with great 
simplicity of manner. " I like your's so much, that I wanted to speak 
to you, from the very first moment I saw you under the pump.'* 

" Did you though ? " 

" Upon my word. Now, isn't that curious ? " 

" Wery sing'ler," said Sam, inwardly cong-ratulating- himself upon the 
softness of the stranger. " What's your name, my patriarch ?" 

« Job." 

'• And a wery good name it is ; only one, I know, that ain't got a 
nickname to it. What's the other name ? " 

" Trotter," said the stranger. " What is yours ? " 

Sam bore in mind his master's caution, and replied, 

'' My name's Walker ; my master's name's Wilkins. Will you take 
a drop o' somethin' this mornin', Mr. Trotter ? " 

Mr. Trotter acquiesced in this agreeable proposal : and having 
deposited his book in his coat-pocket, accompanied Mr. Weller to the 
tap, where they were soon occupied in discussing an exhilarating com- 
pound, formed by mixing together, in a pewter vessel, certain quantities 
of British Hollands, and the fragrant essence of the clove. 

" And what sort of a place have you got?" inquired Sam, as he 
filled his companion's glass, for the second time. 

" Bad," said Job, smacking his lips, " Very bad." 

" You don't mean that," said Sam. 

** I do, indeed. Worse than that, my master's going to be married.", 

" No." 

" Yes ; and worse than that, too, he's going to run away with an 
immense rich heiress, from boarding-school." 

*' What a dragon," said Sam, refilling his companion's glass. " It's 
some boarding-school in this town, I suppose, a'nt it ? " 

Now, although this question was put in the most careless tone im- 
aginable, Mr. Job Trotter plainly showed, by gestures, that he perceived 
his new friend's anxiety to draw forth an answer to it. He emptied 
his glass, looked mysteriously at his companion, winked both of his 
small eyes, one after the other, and finally made a motion with his arm, 
as if he were working an imaginary pump-handle : thereby intimating 
that he (Mr. Trotter) considered himself as undergoing the process of 
being pumped, hy Mr. Samuel Weller. 

" No, no," said Mr. Trotter, in conclusion, " that's not to be told to 
everybody. That is a secret — a great secret, Mr. Walker." p 

As the mulberry man said this, he turned his glass upside down, by 


way of reminding his companion that he liad nothing left wherewith 
to slake his thirst. Sam observed the hint ; and feeling the delicate 
manner in which it was conveyed, ordered the pewter vessel to be 
refilled, whereat the small eyes of the mulberry man glistened. 

" And so it's a secret," said Sam. 

*• I should rather suspect it was," said the mulberry man, sipping his 
liquor, with a complacent face. 

" I suppose your raas'r's very rich ?" said Sam. 

Mr. Trotter smiled, and holding his glass in his left hand, gave four 
distinct slaps on the pocket of his mulberry indescribables with his 
right, as if to intimate that his master might have done the same 
without alarming anybody much by the chinking of coin. 

" Ah," said Sam, " that's the game, is it ?" 

The mulberry man nodded significantly. 

" Well, and don't you think, old feller," remonstrated Mr. Weller, 
" that if you let your master take in this here young lady, you're a 
precious rascal ? " 

*' I know that," said Job Trotter, turning upon his companion a 
countenance of deep contrition, and groaning slightly. " 1 know 
that and that's what it is that preys upon my mind. But what am 
I to do?" 

" Do ! " said Sam ; " di-wulge to the missis, and give up your 

"Who'd believe me?" replied Job Trotter. "The young lady's 
considered the very picture of innocence and discretion. She'd deny 
it, and so would my master. Who'd believe me ? I should lose my 
place, and get indicted for a conspiracy, or some such thing ; that's all 
I should take by my motion." 

" There's somethin' in that," said Sam, ruminating ; " there's some- 
thin' in that." 

*' If I knew any respectable gentleman who would take the matter 
up," continued Mr. Trotter, ^' I might have some hope of preventing 
the elopement; but there's the same difBculty, Mr. Walker, just the 
same. I know no gentleman in this strange place; and ten to one if 
I did, whether he would believe my story." 

" Come this way," said Sam, suddenly jumping up, and grasping 
the mulberry man by the arm. " My raas'r's the man you want, 1 see." 
And after a slight resistance on the part of Job Trotter, Sam led his 
newly-found friend to the apartment of Mr. Pickwick, to whom he 
presented him, together with a brief summary of the dialogue we have 
just repeated. 

" I am very sorry to betray my master, Sir," said Job Trotter, 
applying to his eyes a pink check pocket handkei chief of about three 
inches square. 

" The feeling does you a great deal of honour," replied Mr. Pick- 
wick ; " but it is your duty, nevertheless." 

" I know it is my duty, Sir," replied Job, with great emotion. " We 
should all try to discharge our duty, Sir, and I humbly endeavour to 
discharge mine. Sir ; but it is a hard trial to betray a roaster, Sir, 



whose clothes you wear, and whose bread you eat, even though he is a 
scoundrel, Sir." 

" You are a very good fellow," said Mr. Pickwick, much affecte.l 
" an honest fellow." 

" Come, come," interposed Sara, who had witnessed Mr. Trotter's 
tears with considerable impatience, " blow this here water cart bis'ness. 
It won't do no good, this won't." 

" Sara," said Mr. Pickwick, reproachfully, " I am sorry to find that 
you have so little respect for this young man's feelings." 

" His feelins is all wery well, Sir," rephed Mr. Weller ; " and as 
they're so wery fine, and it's a pity he should lose 'em, I think he'd 
better keep 'era in his own bussum, than let 'era ewaporate in hot 
water, 'specially as they do no good. Tears never yet wound up a 
clock, or worked a steam ingin'. The next time you go out to a 
smoking party, young feller, fill your pipe with that 'ere reflection ; 
and for the present, just put that bit of pink gingham into your pocket. 
'T'a'n't so handsome that you need keep waving it about, as if you was 
a tight-rope dancer." 

" My man is in the right," said Mr. Pickwick, accosting Job, 
" although his mode of expressing his opinion is somewhat homely, and 
occasionally incomprehensible." 

"He is. Sir, very right," said Mr. Trotter, " and I will giveaway no 

" Very well," said Mr. Pickwick. " Now, where is this boarding- 

** It is a large, old, red-brick house^ just outside the town, Sir," 
replied Job Trotter. 

" And when," said Mr. Pickwick, " when is this villainous design 
to be carried into execution — when is this elopement to take place?" 

" To-night, Sir," replied Job. 

" To-night ! " exclaimed Mr. Pickwick. 

" This very night, Sir," replied Job Trotter. " That is what 
alarms me so much." 

" Instant measures must be taken," said Mr. Pickwick. " I will 
see the lady who keeps the establishment, immediately." 

" I beg your pardon. Sir," said Job, " but that course of proceeding 
will never do." 

" Why not ?" inquired Mr. Pickwick. 

*' My master. Sir, is a very artful man." 

" I know he is," said Mr. Pickwick. 

" And he has so wound himself round the old lady's heart, Sir," 
resumed Job, *' that she would believe nothing to his prejudice, if you 
went down on your bare knees, and swore it ; especially as you have 
no proof but the word of a servant, who, for anything she knows (and 
my master would be sure to say so), was discharged for some fault, and 
does this, in revenge." 

' What had better be done, then ?" said Mr. Pickwick. 

* Nothing but taking him in the very fact of eloping, will convince 
the old lady, Sir," replied Job. 

llili I'UKNVICK CLL15. iT.S 

'' All tliem old catsi will nu\ their heaiis agin mile-stoiifsj," olacrvcMl 
Mr. Weller in u ))arciith(>si<;. 

'* But this taking- him in the very act of elopement, would he a very 
difficult thing to accomplish, I fear," said Mr. Pickwick. 

" I don't know, Sir," said Mr. Trotter, alter a few moments* reflection. 
" I think it might be very easily done." 

" Mow?" was Mr. Pickwick's inquiry. 

" Why," rephed Mr. Trotter, ^' my master and I, being in the con- 
fidence of the two servants, will be secreted in the kitchen at ten o'clock. 
When the family have retire<l to rest, we shall come out of the kitchen, 
iiud the young lady out of her bed-room. A post-chaise will be waiting, 
and away we go," 

« Well," said Mr. Pickwick. 

" Well, Sir, I have been thinking that if you were wailing in the 
j:arden behind, alone — " 

" Alone," said Mr. Pickwick. *' Why alone ? " 

" 1 thought it very natural," replied Job, " that the old lady wouldn't 
like such an unpleasant discovery to be made before more persons 
than can possibly be helped. The young lady too. Sir — consider her 

" You are very right," said Mr, Pickwick. " The consideration 
evinces great delicacy of feeling. Go on ; you are very right." 

" Well Sir, I was thinking that if you were waiting in the ])ack 
garden alone, and I was to let you in, at the door which opens into it, 
from the end of the passage, at exactly half-past eleven o'clock, you 
would be just in the very moment of time, to assist me in frustrating 
the designs of this bad man, by whom I have been unfortunately 
ensnared." Here Mr. Trotter sighed deeply. 

" Don't distress yourself on that account," said Mr. Pickv.'ick, " it" 
he had one grain of the delicacy of feeling which distinguishes you, 
humble as your station is, I should have some hopes of him." 

Job Trotter bowed low ; and in spite of Mr. Vv'eller's previous remon- 
strance, the tears again rose to his eyes. 

" I never see such a feller," said Sam. '" Blessed if I don't tliink he's 
got a main in his head as is always tinned on." 

" Sanii" said Mr. Pickwick, wjth gieat severity. '^ Hold your 

u w^ny well, Sir," replied Mr. Welh-r. 

" I don't like this plan," said Mr. Pickwick, after deep meditation. 
" Why cannot I communicate with the young lady's friends ? " 

" Because they live one hundred miles from here, Sir," responded Job 

*' That's a clincher, said Mr. Weller, aside. 

*' Then this garden," resumed Mr. Pickwick. " How am I to get 
into it ? " ' 

" The wall is very low. Sir, and your servant will give you a leg up.'* 

" My servant will give me a leg up," repeated Mr. Pickwick, mecha* 
uicaliy. '< You will be sure to be near this door, that you speak of? " 
-^ " You cannot mistake it, Sir; it's the only one that opens into the 
\ V 2 


garden. Tap at it, when you hear the clock strike, and I will open ic 

** I don't like the plan," said Mr. Pickwick ; '* but as I see no other 
and as the happiness of this young lady's whole life is at stake, I adopt 
it. I shall be sure to be there." 

Thus, for the second time, did Mr. Pickwick's innate good-feeling 
involve him in an enterprise, from which he would most willingly have 
stood aloof. 

" What is the name of the house ? " inquired Mr. Pickwick. 

" Westgate House, Sir. You turn a little to the right when you get 
to the end of the town ; it stands by itself, some little distance off the 
high road, with the name on a brass plate on the gate." 

" I know it," said Mr. Pickwick. *' I observed it once before, when 
I was in this town. You may depend upon me." 

Mr. Trotter made another bow, and turned to depart, when Mr. 
Pickwick thrust a guinea into his hand. 

" You're a fine fellow," said Mr. Pickwick, " and I admire your 
goodness of heart. No thanks. Remember— eleven o'clock." 

" There is no fear of my forgetting it. Sir," replied Job Trotter. 
With these words he left the room, followed by Sam. 

*' I say," said the latter, " not a bad notion that 'ere crying. Pd cry 
like a rain-water spout in a shower, on such good terms. How do you 

" It comes from the heart, Mr. Walker," replied Job solemnly. 
" Good morning, Sir." 

" You're a soft customer, you are ; — we've got it all out o' you, any 
how' ' thought Mr. Weller, as Job walked away. 

We cannot state the precise nature of the thoughts which passed 
through Mr. Trotter's mind, because we don't know what they were. 

The day wore on, evening came, and at a little before ten o'clock 
Sam Weller reported that Mr. Jingle and Job had gone out together, 
that their luggage was packed up, and that they had ordered a chaise, 
'^he plot was evidently in execution, as Mr. Trotter had foretold. 

Half-past ten o'clock arrived, and it was time for Mr. Pickwick to 
issue forth on his delicate errand. Resisting Sam's tender of his great 
coat, in order that he might hav€ no incumbrance in scaling the wail, 
he set forth, followed by his attendant. 

There was a bright moon, but it was behind the clouds. It was a 
fine dry night, but it was most uncommonly dark. Paths, hedges, 
fields, houses, and trees, were enveloped in one deep^hade. The atmo- 
sphere was hot and sultry, the summer lightning quivered faintly on the 
verge of the horizon, and was the only sight that varied the dull gloom 
m which every thing was wrapped — sound there was none, except the 
distant barking of some restless house-dog. 

They found the house, read the brass-plate, walked round the wail; 
and stopped at that portion of it which divided them from the bottom 
of the gardeu. 

" You will return to the iun, Sam, when you have assisted tne over," 
said Mr. Pickwick. 


*' VVcry well, Sir." 

" And you will sit up, 'till I return," 

" Cert'nly, Sir." 

*' Take hold of my leg ; and, when I say ' Over/ raise me gently." 

" All rig-ht, Sir." 

Having settled these preliminaries, Mr. Pickwick grasped the top of the 
wall, and gave the word " Over," which was very literally obeyed. Whether 
his body partook in some degree of the elasticity of his mind, or whether 
Mr. Weller's notions of a gentle push were of a somewhat rougher 
description than Mr. Pickwick's, the immediate effect of his assistance 
was to jerk that immortal gentleman completely over the wall on to tlie 
bed beneath, where, after crushing three gooseberry-bushes and a rose- 
tree, he finally alighted at full length. 

" You ha'n't hurt yourself, I hope, Sir," said Sam, in a loud whisper, 
as soon as he recovered from the surprise consequent upon the myste- 
rious disappearance of his master. 

'* I have not hurt myself, Sam, certainly," replied Mr. Pickwick, 
from the other side of the wall, " but I rather think that you have 
hurt me" 

" I hope not, Sir," said Sam. 

*' Never mind," said Mr. Pickwick, rising, " it's nothing but a few 
scratches. Go away, or we shall be overheard." 

" Good-byo,^ Sir." 

" Good-bye." 

With stealthy steps Sam Weller departed, leaving Mr. Pickwick 
alone in the garden. 

Lights occasionally appeared in the different windows of the house, 
or glanced from the staircases, as if the inmates were retiring to rest. 
Not caring to ^o too near the door, until the appointed time, Mr. Pick- 
wick crouched into an angle of the wall, and awaited its arrival. 

It was a situation which might well have depressed the spirits of 
many a man. Mr. Pickwick, however, feit neither depression nor mis- 
giving. He knew that his purpose was in the main a good one, and he 
placed implicit reliance on the high-minded Job. It was dull, certainly ; 
not to say, dreary ; but a contemplative man can always employ himself 
in meditation. Mr. Pickwick had meditated himself into a doze, when 
he was roused by the chimes of the neighbouring church ringing out 
the hour — half-past eleven. 

" That's the time," thought Mr. Pickwick, getting cautiously on his 
feet. He looked up at the house. The lights had disappeared, and the 
shutters were closed — all in bed, no doubt. He walked on tip-toe to 
the door, and gave a gentle tap. Two or three minutes passing with- 
out any reply, he gave another tap rather louder, and then another 
rather louder than that. 

At length the sound of feet was audible upon the stairs, and then the 
light of a candle shone through the key-hole of the door. There was 
a good deal of unchaining and unbolting, and the door was slowly 

Now the door opened outwards : and as the door opened wider and 


wider, Mr. Pickwick receded behind it, more and more. What was his 
astonishment when he just peeped out, by way of caution, to see that 
the person who had opened it was — not Job Trotter, but a servant-ffirl 
with a candle in her band I Mr. Pickwick drew in his head again, with 
the swiftness displayed by that admirable melo-dramatic performer, 
Punch, when he lies in wait for the flat-headed comedian with the tin 
box of music. 

'' It must have been the cat, Sarah," said the girl, addressing herself 
to some one in the house. " Puss, puss, puss — tit, tit, tit." 

But no animal being decoyed by these blandishments, the girl slowly 
closed the door, and re-fastened it ; leaving Mr. Pickwick drawn up 
straight against the wall. 

" This is very curious," thought Mr. Pickwick. ** They are sitting 
up, beyond their usual hour, I suppose. Extremely unfortunate, that 
they should have chosen this night, of all others, for such a purpose — 
exceedingly." And with these thoughts, Mr. Pickwick cautiously 
retired to the angle of the wall in which he had been before ensconced ; 
Avaiting until such time as he might deem it safe to repeat the signal. 

He had not been here five minutes, when a vivid flash of lightning 
was followed by a loud peal of thunder that crashed and rolled away in 
the distance with terrific noise — then came another flash of lightning, 
brighter than the other, and a second peal of thunder louder than the 
first; and then down came the rain, with a force and fury that swept 
every thing before it. 

Mr. Pickwick was perfectly aware that a tree is a very dangerous 
neighbour in a thunder-storm. He had a tree on his right, a tree on 
his left, a third before him, and a fourth behind. If he remained where 
he was, he might fall the victim of an accident ; if he showed himself 
in the centre of the garden, he might be consigned to a constable ; — 
once or twice he tried to scale the wall, but having no other legs this 
time, than those with which Nature had furnished him, the only effect 
of his struggles was to inflict a variety of very unpleasant gratings 
on his knees and shins, and to throw him into a state of the most 
profuse perspiration. 

" What a dr( adful situation," said Mr. Pickwick, pausing to wipe 
his brow after this exercise. He looked up at the house — all was dark. 
They must be gone to bed now. He would try the signal again. 

He walked on tip-toe across the moist gravel, and tapped at the door. 
He held his breath, and listened at the key-hole. No reply : very odd. 
Another knock. He listened again. There was a low whispering 
inside, and then a voice cried — 

" Who's there ? " 

" Thai's not Job," thought M\\ Pickwick, hastily drawing himself 
straight up against the wall again. " It's a woman." 

He had scarcely had time to form this conclusion, when a window 
above stairs, was thrown up, and three or four female voices repeated 
the query — " Who's there ? " 

Mr. Pickwick dared not move hand or foot. It was clear that tha 
wholn establishment was roused. He made up his mind to remain vviu're 


he ^^"ds, until the alarm had subsided : and then to make u superuatural 
effort, and g:et over the wall, or perish in the attempt. 

Like all Mr. Pickwick's determinations, this was the best that could 
he made under the circumstances ; but, unfortunately, it was founded 
upon the assumption that they would not venture to open the dooi 
again. What was his discomfiture, when he heard the chain and bolts 
withdrawn, and saw the door slowly opening-, wider and wider I He 
retreated into the corner, step by step ; hut do what he would, the inter- 
position of his own person, prevented its being- opened to its utmost 

" Who's there?" screamed a numerous chorus of treble voices from 
the stair-case inside, consisting of the spinster lady of the establish- 
ment, three teachers, five female servants, and thirty boarders, all half- 
dressed, and in a forest of curl-papers. 

Of course Mr. Pickwick didn't say who was there : and then the 
burden of the chorus changed into — '' Lor' I I am so frightened." 

** Cook," said the lady abbess, who took care to be on the top stair, 
the very last of the group — " Cook, why don't you go a little way into 
the garden ? " 

" Please ma'am, I don't like," responded the cook. 

" Lor', what a stupid thing that cook is I " said the thirty boarders. 

" Cook," said the lady abbess, with great dignity ; " don't answer 
me, if you please. I insist upon your looking into the garden, imme- 

Here the cook began to cry, and the house-maid said it was '' a 
shame ! " for which partisanship she received a month's warning on 
the spot. 

" Do you hear, cook ? " said the lady abbess, stamping her foot, im- 

" Don't you hear your missis, cook ? " said the three teacners. 

^' What an impudent thing, that cook is ! " said the thirty boarders. 

The unfortunate cook, thus strongly urged, advanced a step or two, 
and holding her candle just where it prevented her seeing any thing at 
all, declared there was nothing there, and it must have been the wind ; 
and the door was just going to be closed in consequence, when an 
inquisitive boarder, who had been peeping between the hinges, set up a 
fearful screaming, which called back the cook and the housemaid, and 
all the more adventurous, in no time. 

*' What is the matter with Miss Smithers ? " said the lady abbess, a§ 
the aforesaid Miss Smithers proceeded to go into hysterics of four 
young lady power. 

" Lor, Miss Smithers dear," said the other nine-and-twenty 

"Oh, the man — the man — behind the door!" screamed Miss 

The lady abbess no sooner heard this appalling cry, than she retreated 
to her own bed-room, double-locked the door, and fainted away all com- 
fortalxly. The boarders, and the teachers, and the servants, fell back 


upon the stairs, and upon each other ; and never was such a screaming, 
and fainting, and struggling, beheld. In the midst of the tumult, Mr. 
Pickwick emerged from his concealment, and presented himself amongst 

" Ladies — dear ladies," said Mr. Pickwick. 

" Oh, he says we're dear," cried the oldest and ugliest teacher. " Oh 
the wretch." 

'' Ladies," roared Mr. Pickwick, rendered desperate by the danger of 
his situation. " Hear me. I am no robber. I want the lady of the 

" Oh, what a ferocious monster ! " screamed another teacher. " He 
wants Miss Tomkins." 

Here there was a general scream. 

•' Ring the alarm bell, somebody," cried a dozen voices. 

" Don't — don't," shouted Mr. Pickwick. " Look at me. Do I 
look like a robber ? My dear ladies — you may bind me hand and leg, 
or lock me up in a closet, if you like. Only hear what I have got to 
"ay — only hear me." 

" How did you come in our garden ? " faultered the house-maid. 

*' Call the lady of the house, and I'll tell her everything — every- 
thing :" said Mr. Pickwick, exerting his lungs to the utmost pitch. 
*'Call her — only be quiet, and call her, and you shall hear every- 

It might have been Mr. Pickwick's appearance, or it might have 
been his manner, or it might have been the temptation — so irresistible 
to a female mind — of hearing something at present enveloped in mys- 
tery, that reduced the more reasonable portion of the establishment 
(some four individuals) to a state of comparative quiet. By them it 
was proposed, as a test of Mr. Pickwick's sincerity, that he should 
immediately submit to personal restraint ; and that gentleman having 
consented to hold a conference with Miss Tomkins, from the interior 
of a closet in which the day boarders hung their bonnets and sandwich- 
bags, he at once stepped into it, of his own accord, and was securely 
locked in. This revived the others ; and Miss Tomkins having been 
brought to, and brought down, the conference began. 

" What did you do in my garden, man ? " said Miss Tomkins, in a 
faint voice. 

" I came to warn you, that one of your young ladies was going to 
elope to-night," replied Mr. Pickwick, from the interior of the closet. 

" Elope ! " exclaimed Miss Tomkins, the three teachers, the thirty 
boarders, and the five servants. *' Who with ? " 

" Your friend, Mr. Charles Fitz-Marshall." 

" My friend ! I don't know any such person." 

" Well ; Mr. Jingle, then." 

" I never heard the name in my life." 

" Then, I have been deceived, and deluded," said Mr. Pickwick. " I 
have been the victim of a conspiracy — a foul and base conspiracy. Send 
to the Angel, my dear ma'am, if you don't believe me. Send to the 
Angel for Mr. Pickwick's man-servant, I implore you ma'am." 


♦' He must be respectable — he keeps a man-servant," said Mis3 Toiu- 
kins to the writing and ciphering- governess. 

" It's my opinion, Miss Tomkins," said the writing and ciphering 
governess, " that his man-servant keeps him. /think he's a madman, 
Miss Tomkins, and the other's his keeper." 

*' I think you are very right, Miss Gwynn," responded Miss Tomkins. 
♦' Let two of the servants repair to the Angel, and let the others 
remain here, to protect us." 

So two of the servants were despatched to the Angel in search of 
Mr. Samuel Weller: and the remaining three stopped behind to protect 
Miss Tomkins, and the three teachers, and the thirty boarders. And 
Mr. Pickwick sat down in the closet, beneath a grove of sandwich bags, 
and awaited the return of the messengers, with all the philosophy and 
fortitude he could summon to his aid. 

An hour and a half elapsed before they came back, and when they 
did come, Mr. Pickwick recognised, in addition to the voice of Mr. 
Samuel Weller, two other voices, the tones of which struck familiarly 
on his ear ; but whose they were, he could not for the life of him call 
to mind. 

A very brief conversation ensued. The door was unlocked. Mr. 
Pickwick stepped out of the closet, and found himself in the presence 
of the whole establishment of Westgate House, Mr. Samuel Weller, 
and — old Wardle, and his destined son-in-law, Mr. Trundle ! 

" My dear friend," said Mr. Pickwick, running forward and grasping 
Wardle's hand, " my dear friend, pray, for Heaven's sake, explain to 
this lady the unfortunate and dreadful situation in which I am placed. 
You must have heard it from my servant ; say, at all events, my dear 
fellow, that I am neither a robber nor a madman." 

" I have said so, my dear friend. I have said so already," replied 
Mr. Wardle, shaking the right hand of his friend, while Mr. Trundle 
shook the left. 

*' And whoever says, or has said, he is," interposed Mr. Weller, 
stepping forward, " says that which is not the truth, but so far from it, 
on the contrairy, quite the rewerse. And if there's any number o' 
men on these here premises as has said so, I shall be wery happy to 
give 'em all a wery convincing proof o* their being mistaken, in this 
here wery room, if these wery respectable ladies '11 have the goodness to 
retire, and order 'em up, one at a time." Having delivered this defiance 
with great volubility, Mr. Weller struck his open palm emphatically 
with his clenched fist, and winked pleasantly on Miss Tomkins, the 
intensity of whose horror at his supposing it within the bounds of possi- 
bility that there could be any men on the premises of Westgate House 
Establishment for Young Ladies, it is impossible to describe. 

Mr. Pickwick's explanation having been already partially made, was 
soon concluded. But neither in the course of his walk home with his 
friends, nor afterwards when seated before a blazing fire at the supper 
he so much needed, could a single observation be drawn from him. He 
seemed bewildered and amazed. Once, and only once, he turned round 
to Mr. Wardle, and said 

" How did you come here? " 


" Tiundle and I came down here, for some good shooting on the first," 
rephed Wardle. '^ We arrived to-night and were astonished to hear 
from your servant that you were here too. But I am glad you are," 
said the jolly old fellow, slapping him on the back. " I am glad you 
are. We shall have a jolly party on the first, and we'll give Winkle 
another chance — eh, old boy ? " 

Mr. Pickwick made no reply ; he did not even ask after his friends 
at Dingley Dell, and shortly aftierwards retired for the night, desiring 
Sam to fetch his candle when he rung. 

The bell did ring in due course, and Mr. Weller presented himself. 

" Sam," said Mr, Pickwick, looking out from under the bed- 

" Sir," said Mr. Weller. 

Mr. Pickwick paused, and Mr. Weller snuffed the candle. 

" Sam," said Mr. Pickwick again, as if with a desperate effort. 

*' Sir," said Mr. Weller, once more. 

" Where is that Trotter?" 

'' Job, Sir?" 

" Yes." 

" Gone, Sir." 

" With his master, I suppose ?" 

" Friend or master, or whatever he is, he*s gone with him," replied 
Mr. Weller. " There's a pair on 'em. Sir." 

" Jingle suspected my design, and set that fellow on you, with this 
story, I suppose ? " said Mr. Pickwick, half choking. 

'' Just that. Sir," replied Mr. Weller. 

" It was all false, of course ?" 

« All, Sir," replied Mr. Weller. « Reg'lar do, Sir ; artful dodge." 

'' I don't think he'll escape us quite so easily the next time, Sam?" 
said Mr. Pickwick. 

" I don't think he will. Sir." 

*' Whenever I meet that Jingle again, wherever it is," said Mr. 
Pickwick, raising himself in bed, and indenting his pillow with a tre- 
mendous blow, " I'll inflict personal chastisement on him, in addition 
to the exposure he so richly merits. I will, or my name is not Pick- 

" And venever I catches hold o' that there melan-choUy chap with 
the black hair," said Sara, " if I don't bring some real water into his 
eyes, for once in a way, my name a'nt Weller. Good night, Sir." 



The constitution of Mr. Pickwick, though able to sustain a very 
considerable amount of exertion and fatigue, was not proof against such 
a combination of attacks as he had undergone on the memorable night, 
recorded in the last chapter. The process of being washed in the ni^ht 



air, iiiul rough-drieil in a close closet, is as dangerous as it is peculiar. 
Mr. Pickwick was laid up with an attack of rheumatism. 

But although the bodily powers of the great man were thus impaired, 
his mental energies retained their pristine vigour. His spirits were 
elastic ; his good humour was restored. Even the vexation consequent 
upon his recent adventure had vanished from his mind ; and he could 
join in the hearty laughter which any allusion to it excited in Mr. 
VV^ardle, without anger and without embarrassment. Nay, more. 
During the two days Mr. Pickwick was confined to his bed, Sam 
was his constant attendant. On the first, he endeavoured to amuse his 
master by anecdote and conversation ; on the second Mr. Pickwick 
demanded his writing-desk, and pen and ink, and was deeply engaged 
during the whole day. On the third, being able to sit up in his bed- 
chamber, he despatched his valet with a message to Mr. VVardle and 
Mr. Trundle, intimating that if they would take their wine there, that 
evening, they would greatly oblige him. The invitation was most 
willingly accepted ; and when they were seated over their wine, Mr 
Pickwick with sundry blushes, produced the following little tale, as 
having been "edited" by himself, during his recent indisposition, from 
his notes of Mr. Weller's unsophisticated recital. 


" Once upon a time, in a very small country town, at a considerable 
distance from London, there lived a little man named Nathaniel Pipkin, 
who was the parish clerk of the little town, and lived in a little 
house in the little high street, within ten minutes' walk of the little 
church ; and who was to be found every day from nine till four, teaching 
a little learning to the little boys. Nathaniel Pipkin was a harmless, 
inoffensive, good-natured being, with a turned-up nose, and rather 
turned-in legs, a cast in his eye, and a halt in his gait ; and he divided 
his time between the church and his school, verily believing that there 
existed not, on the face of the earth, so clever a man as the curate, so 
imposing an apartment as the vestiy-room, or so well-ordered a semi- 
nary as his own. Once, and only once, in his life, Nathaniel Pipkin 
had seen a bishop — a real bishop, with his arms in lawn sleeves, and 
his head in a wig. He had seen him walk, and heard him talk at a 
confirmation, on which momentous occasion Nathaniel Pipkin was so 
overcome with reverence and awe, when the aforesaid bishop laid his 
hand on his head, that he fainted right clean away, and was borne out of 
church in the arras of the beadle. 

" This was a great event, a tremendous era, in Nathaniel Pipkin's 
life, and it was about the only one that had ever occurred to ruffle the 
smooth current of his quiet existence, when happening one fine after- 
noon, in a fit of mental abstraction, to raise his eyes from the slate on 
which he was devising some tremendous problem in compound addition 
for an offending urchin to solve, they suddenly rested on the blooming 
countenance of Maria Lobbs, the only daughter of old Lobbs the groat 
saddler over the way. Now, the eyes of Mr. Pipkins had rested on the 
pretty face of Maria Lobbs many a time and oft before, at church and 
elsewhere : but the eyes of Marin Lobbs had ncv(M- looked so briglit, 


the cheeks of Maria Lo1»bs had never looked so ruddy, as upjn this 
particular occasion. No wonder then, that Nathaniel Pipkin was unable 
to take his eyes from the countenance of Miss Lobbs ; no wonder that 
Miss Lobbs, finding- herself stared at by a young man, withdrew her 
head from the window out of which she had been peeping, and shut 
the casement and pulled down the blind ; no wonder that Nathaniel 
Pipkin, immediately thereafter, fell upon the young urchin who had 
previously offended, and cuffed and knocked him to his heart's content. 
All this was very natural, and there's nothing at all to wonder at 
about it. 

" It is matter of wonder, though, that any one of Mr. Nathaniel 
Pipkin's retiring disposition, nervous temperament, and most particularly 
diminutive income, should from this day forth, have dared to aspire to 
the hand and heart of the only daughter of the fiery old Lobbs — of 
old Lobbs the great saddler, who could have bought up the whole 
village at one stroke of his pen, and never felt the outlay — old Lobbs, 
who was well known to have heaps of money, invested in the bank 
at the nearest market town — who was reported to have countless and 
inexhaustible treasures, hoarded up in the little iron safe with the big 
key-hole, over the chimney-piece in the back parlour — and who, it was 
well known, on festive occasions garnished his board with a real silver 
tea-pot, cream ewer, and sugar-basin, which he was wont, in the pride 
of his heart, to boast should be his daughter's property when she found 
a man to her mind. I repeat it, to be matter of profound astonishment 
and intense wonder, that Nathaniel Pipkin should have had the temerity 
to cast his eyes in this direction. But love is blind, and Nathaniel had 
a cast in his eye : and perhaps these two circumstances, taken together, 
prevented his seeing the matter, in its proper light. 

" Now, if old Lobbs had entertained the most remote or distant idea 
of the state of the affections of Nathaniel Pipkin, he would just have 
razed the school-room to the ground, or exterminated its master from 
the surface of the earth, or committed some other outrage and atrocity 
of an equally ferocious and violent description ; for he was a terrible 
old fellow, that Lobbs, when his pride was injured, or his blood was up. 
Swear I Such trains of oaths would come rolling and pealing over the 
way, sometimes, when he was denouncing the idleness of the bony 
apprentice with the thin legs, that Nathaniel Pipkin would shake in 
his shoes with horror, and the hair of the pupils' heads would stand on 
end with fright. 

" Well, day after day, when school was over, and the pupils gone, 
did Nathaniel Pipkin sit himself down at the front window, and while 
he feigned to be reading a book, throw sidelong glances over the way 
in search of the bright eyes of Maria Lobbs ; and he hadn't sat there 
many days, before the bright eyes appeared at an upper window, 
apparently deeply engaged in reading too. This was delightful, and, 
gladdening to the heart of Nathaniel Pipkin. It was something to sit 
there for hours together, and look upon that pretty face when the eyes 
were cast down ; but when Maria Lobbs began to raise her eyes from 
her book, and dart their rays in the direction of Nathaniel Pipkin, his 
delight and admiration were perfectly boundless. At last, one day 


when he knew old Lohbs was out, Nathaniel Pipkin had the temeritv 
to kiss his hand to Maria Lobbs ; and Maria Lobbs, instead of shutting 
the window, and pulling- down the blind, kissed hers to hira, and smiled. 
Upon which, Nathaniel Pipkin determined, that, come what might, he 
would develope the state of his feelirp"s, without further delay. 

A prettier foot, a gayer heart, a more dimpled face, or a smarter 
form, never bounded so lightly over the earth they graced, as did those 
of Maria Lobbs, the old saddler's daughter. There was a roguish 
twinkle in her sparkling eyes, that would have made its way to fur less 
susceptible bosoms than that of Nathaniel Pipkin ; and there was such 
a joyous sound in her merry laugh, that the sternest misanthrope must 
have smiled to hear it. Even old Lobbs himself^ in the very height of 
his ferocity, couldn't resist the coaxing of his pretty daughter ; and 
when she, and her cousin Kate — au arch, impudent-looking, bewitching 
little person — made a dead set upon the old man together, as, to say 
the truth, they very often did, he could have refused them nothing, 
even had they asked for a portion of the countless and inexhaustible 
treasures, which were hidden from the light, in the iron safe. 

" Nathaniel Pipkin's heart beat high within him, when he saw this 
enticing htlle couple some hundred yards before him, one summers 
evening, in the very field in which he had many a time strolled about 
till night-time, and pondered on the beauty of Maria Lobbs. But 
though he had often thought then, how briskly he would walk up to 
Maria Lobbs and tell her of his passion if he could only meet her, he 
felt, now that she was unexpectedly before him, all the blood in his 
body mounting to his face, manifestly to the great detriment of his legs, 
which, deprived of their usual portion, trembled beneath him. When 
they stopped to gather a hedge-flower, or listen to a bird, Nathaniel 
Pipkin stopped too, and pretended to be absorbed in meditation, as 
indeed he really was; for he was thinking what on earth he should ever 
do, when they turned back, as they inevitably must in time, and meet him 
face to face. But though he was afraid to make up to them, he couldn't 
bear to lose sight of them ; so when they walked faster he walked faster, 
when they lingered he lingered, and when they stopped he stopped ; 
and so they might have gone on, till the darkness prevented them, if 
Kate had not looked slily back, and encouragingly beckoned Nathaniel 
to advance. There was something in Kate's manner that was not to be 
resisted, and so Nathaniel Pipkin complied with the invitation ; and 
after a great deal of blushing on his part, and immoderate laughter on 
I hat of the wicked little cousin, Nathaniel Pipkin went down on his 
knees on the dewy grass, and declared his resolution to remain there 
for ever, unless he was permitted to rise the accepted lover of Maria 
Lobbs. Upon this, the merry laughter of Maria Lobbs rang through 
the calm evening air — without seeming to disturb it, though ; it had 
such a pleasant sound — and the wicked little cousin laughed more immo- 
derately than before, and N ihaniel Pipkin blushed deeper than ever. 
At length, Maria Lobbs being more strenuously urged by the love-worn 
little man, turned away her head, and whispered her cousin to say, or 
at all events Kate did say, that she felt much honoured by Mr. Pipkin's 
addresses, that her hand and heart were at her father's disposal, but 



tliut nobody could be insensible to Mr. Pipkin's merits. As all tlrs 
was said with much gravity, and as Nathaniel Pipkin walked home with 
Maria Lobbs, and struggled for a kiss at parting, he went to bed a happy 
man, and dreamed all night long, of softening old Lobbs, opening the 
strong box, and marrying Maria. 

'* The next day, Nathaniel Pipkin saw old Lobbs go out upon his old 
grey poney, and after a great many signs at the window from the wicked 
little cousin, the object and meaning of which he cotild by no means 
understand, the bony apprentice with the thin legs came over to say 
that his master wasn't coming home all night, and that the ladies 
expected Mr. Pipkin to tea, at six o'clock precisely. How the lessons 
were got through that day, neither Nathaniel Pipkin nor liis pupils knew 
any more than you do ; but they were got through somehow, and, after 
the boys had gone, Nathaniel Pipkin took till full six o'clock to dress 
himself to his satisfaction ; not that it took long to select the garments 
he should wear, inasmuch as he had no choice about the matter, but the 
putting them on to the best advantage, and touching them up previously, 
was a task of no inconsiderable difficulty or importance. 

" There was a very snug little party, consisting of Maria Lobbs and 
her cousin Kate, and three or four romping, good-humoured, rosy-- 
cheeked girls. Nathaniel Pipkin had ocular demonstration of the fact, 
thiit even the rumours of old Lobbs's treasures were not exaggerated. 
Tiiere were the real solid silver tea-pot, cream-ewer, and sugar-basin, on 
the table, and real silver spoons to stir the tea with, and real china cups 
to drink it out of, and plates of the same, to hold the cakes and toast in. 
The only eye-sore in the whole place, was alTother cousin of Maria 
Lobbs's, and brother of Kate, whom Maria Lobbs called * Henry,* and 
who seemed to keep Maria Lobbs all to himself, up in one corner of the 
table. It's a delightful thing to see affection in families, but it may be 
carried rather too far, and Nathaniel Pipkin could not help thinking 
that Maria Lobbs must be very particularly fond of her relations, if she 
paid as much attention to all of them as to this individual cousin. 
After tea, too, when the wicked little cousin proposed a game at blind 
man's buff, it somehow or other happened that Nathaniel Pipkin was 
nearly always blind, and whenever he laid his hand upon the male 
cousin, he was sure to find that Maria Lobbs was not far off. And 
though the wicked little cousin and the other girls pinched him, and 
pulled his hair, and pushed chairs in his way, and all sorts of things, 
P^Iaria Lobbs never seemed to come near him at all; and once — once — • 
Nathaniel Pipkin could have sworn he heard the sound of a kiss, fol- 
lowed by a faint remonstrance from Maria Lobbs, and a half-suppressed 
laugh from her female friends. All this was odd — very odd — and there 
is no saying what Nathaniel Pipkin might or might not have done, in 
consequence, if his thoughts had not been suddenly directed into a 
new channel. 

" The circumstance which directed his thoughts into a new channel 
was a loud knocking at the street- door, and the person who made this 
loud knocking at the street-door, was no other than old Lobbs himself, 
who had unexpectedly returned, and was hammering away, like a coffin- 
maker : for ho v.anted his supper. 'J'he alarming intelligence was iiQ 


MioinT CDmmunicatetl by the bony apprentice with the tliin Ic^s, thmi 
the girls tripped up stairs to INIaria Lobhs's bed-room, and the nuile 
cousin and Nathaniel Pipkin were thrust into a couple of closets in tlie 
sitting-room, for want of any better places of concealment; and when 
Maria Lobbs and the wicked little cousin had stowed them away, and 
put the room to rights, they opened the street door to old Lobbs, who 
had never left off knocking since he first began. 

"' Now it did unfortunately happen that old Lobbs being very hungry 
was monstrous cross. Nathaniel Pipkin could hear him growling away 
like an old mastiff with a sore throat ; and whenever the unfortunate 
apprentice with the thin legs came into the room, so surely did old 
Lobbs commence swearing at him in a most Saracenic and ferocious 
manner, though apparently with no other end or object than that of 
easing his bosom by the discharge of a few superfluous oaths. At length 
some supper, which had been warming up, was placed on the table, and 
then old Lobbs fell to, in regular style ; and, having made clear work of 
it in no time, kissed his daughter, and demanded his pipe. 

** Nature had placed Nathaniel Pipkin's knees in very close juxta- 
position, but when he heard old Lobbs demand his pipe, they knocked 
together, as if they were going to reduce each other to powder ; for, 
depending from a couple of hooks, in the very closet in which he stood, 
was a large brown-stemmed, silver-bowled pipe, which pipe he himself 
had seen in the mouth of old Lobbs, regularly every afternoon and 
evening, for the last five years. The two girls went down stairs for the 
pipe, and up stairs for the pipe, and everywhere but where they knew 
the pipe was, and old Lobbs stormed away meanwhile, in the most won- 
derful manner. At last he thought of the closet, and walked up to it. 
It was of no use a little man like Nathaniel Pipkin pulling the door in- 
wards, when a great strong fellow like old Lobbs was pulling it out- 
wards. Old Lobbs just gave it one tug, and open it flew, disclosing 
Nathaniel Pipkin standing bolt upright inside, and shaking with appre- 
hension from head to foot. Bless us ! what an appalling look old Lobbs 
gave him, as he dragged him out by the collar, and held him at arm's 

" ' Why, what the devil do you want here ? ' said old Lobbs, in a 
fearful voice. 

*' Nathaniel Pipkin could make no reply, so old Lobbs shook him 
hackvvards and forwards, for two or three minutes, by way of arranging 
his ideas for him. 

*' * What do you want here ? ' roared Lobbs, ' I suppose i/ou have 
come after my daughter, now.' 

" Old Lobbs merely said this as a sneer : for he did not believe that 
mortal presumption could have carried Nathaniel Pipkin so fur. 
What was his indignation, when that poor man replied — 

" * Yes, I did, Mr. Lobbs — I did come after your daughter. I love 
her, Mr. Lobbs.' 

« * Why, you snivelling, wry-faced little villain,' gasped old Lobbs, 
paralysed at the atrocious confession ; ' what do you mean by that ? 
^^ay this to my face! Damme, I'll throttle you.' 


*' It is by no means improbable that old Lobbs would have carried 
this threat into execution, in the excess of his rage, if his arm had not 
1)een stayed by a very unexpected apparition, to wit, the male coasin, 
who, stepping out of his closet, and walking up to old Lobbs, said — 

" ' I cannot allow this harmless person. Sir, who has been asked 
here, in some girlish frolic, to take upon himself, in a very noble man- 
ner, the fault (if fault it is) which I am guilty of, and am ready to 
avow. / love your daughter, Sir ; and / came here for the purpose of 
meeting her.' 

'' Old Lobbs opened his eyes very wide at this, but not wider than 
Nathaniel Pipkin. 

" ' You did ? ' said Lobbs : at last finding breath to speak. 

•« * 1 did.' 

" 'And I forbade you this house, long ago.' 

*' * You did, or I should not have been here, clandestinely, to-night." 

" I am sorry to record it, of old Lobbs, but I think he would have 
struck the cousin, if his pretty daughter, with her bright eyes swimming 
in tears, had not clung to his arm. 

" ' Don't stop him, Maria,' said the young man : *if he has the will 
to strike me, let him. I would not hurt a hair of his grey head, for 
the riches of the world.' 

*' The old man cast down his eyes at this reproof, and they met 
those of his daughter. I have hinted once or twice before, that they 
were very bright eyes, and, though they were tearful now, their influence 
was by no means lessened. Old Lobbs turned his head away, as if to 
avoid being persuaded by them, when, as fortune would have it, he 
encountered the face of the wicked little cousin, who, half afraid for 
her brother, and half laughing at Nathaniel Pipkin, presented as be- 
witching an expression of countenance, with a touch oi slyness in it 
too, as any man, old or young, need look upon. She drew her arm 
coaxingly through the old man's, and whispered something in his ear ; 
and do what he would, old Lobbs couldn't help breaking out into a 
smile, while a tear stole down his cheek, at the same time. 

'' Five minutes after this, the girls were brought down from the bed- 
room with a great deal of giggling and modesty ; and while the young 
people were making themselves perfectly happy, old Lobbs got down 
the pipe, and smoked it : and it was a remarkable circumstance about 
that particular pipe of tobacco, that it was the most soothing and 
lightful one he ever smoked. 

" Nathaniel Pipkin thought it best to keep his own counsel, and by 
so doing gradually rose into high favour with old Lobbs, who taught 
him to smoke in time ; and they used to sit out in the garden on the 
fine evenings, for many years afterwards, smoking and drinking in great 
state. He soon recovered the effects of his attachment, for we find his 
name in the parish register, as a witness to the marriage of Maria Lobbs 
to her cousin ; and it also appears, by reference to other documents, 
that on the night of the wedding, he was incarcerated in the village 
cage, for having, in a state of extreme intoxication, committed sundry' 
excesses in the streets, in all of which he was aided and abetted by th« 
uony apprentice with Uie thin legs.' 





For two days after the dejeu7ie at Mrs. Hunter's, the Pickwickians 
remained at Eatanswill, anxiously awaiting- the arrival of some intelli- 
gence from their revered leader. Mr. Tiipman and Mr. Snodgrass, were 
once again left to their own means of amusement ; for Mr. Winkle, in 
compliance with a most pressing invitation, continued to reside at Mr. 
Pott's house, and to devote his time to the companionship of his amiable 
lady. Nor was the occasional society of Mr. Pott himself, wanting to 
complete their felicity. Deeply immersed in the intensity of his specu- 
iations for the public weal, and the destruction of the Independent, it 
was not the habit of that great man to descend from his mental pinnacle 
to the humble level of ordinary minds. On this occasion, however, 
and as if expressly in compliment to any follower of Mr. Pickwick's, 
he unbent, relaxed, stepped down from his pedestal, and walked upon 
the ground : benignly adapting his remarks to the comprehension of 
the herd, and seeming in outward form, if not in spirit, to be one of 

Such having been the demeanour of this celebrated public character 
towards Mr. Winkle, it will be readily imagined that considerable sur- 
prise was depicted on the countenance of the latter gentleman, when, 
as he was sitting alone in the breakfast-room, the door was hastily 
thrown open, and as hastily closed, on the entrance of Mr. Pott, who, 
stalking majestically towards him, and thrusting aside his proffered 
hand, ground his teeth, as if to put a sharper edge on what he was 
about to utter, and exclaimed, in a saw-like voice,— 

" Serpent ! " 

" Sir ! " exclaimed Mr. Winkle, starting trom his chair. 

*' Serpent, Sir," repeated Mr. Pott, raising his voice, and then sud- 
denly depressing it ; "I said. Serpent, Sir — make the most of it." 

Now when you have parted with a man, at two o'clock in the morn- 
ing, on terms of the utmost good fellowship, and he meets you again, at 
half-past nine, and greets you as a serpent, it is not unreasonable to 
conclude that something of an unpleasant nature has occurred mean- 
while. So Mr. Winkle thought. He returned Mr. Pott's gaze of stone, 
and in compliance with that gentleman's request, proceeded to make 
the most he could of the " serpent." The most, however, was just 
nothing at all ; so, after a profound silence of some minutes' duration, 
he said, — 

" Serpent, Sir ! Serpent, Mr. Pott ! What can you mean, Sir ?— 
this is pleasantry." 

" Pleasantry, Sir !" exclaimed Pott, with a motion of the hand, indi- 
cative of a strong desire to hurl the Britannia metal tea-pot at the head 




of his visiter. "Pleasantry, Sir I but no, I will be calm; I will 

be calm, Sir ;" and in proof of his calmness, Mr. Pott flung himself into 
a chair, and foamed at the mouth. 

" My dear Sir," interposed Mr. Winkle. 

" Dear Sir I" replied Pott. " How dare you address me, as dear Sir, 
Sir ? How dare you look me in the face and do it ? " 

" Well, Sir, if you come to that," responded Mr. Winkle, " how dare 
you look me in the face, and call me a serpent, Sir ?" 

" Because you are one," replied Mr. Pott. 

" Prove it, Sir," said Mr. Winkle, warmly. " Prove it." 

A malignant scowl passed over the profound face of the editor, as he 
drew from his pocket, the Independent of that morning-; and laying- his 
fing-er on a particular paragraph, threw the journal across the table to 
Mr. Winkle. 

That gentleman took it up, and read as follows : — 

" Our obscure and filthy contemporary, in some disgusting observa- 
tions on the recent election for this borough, has presumed to violate 
the hallowed sanctity of private life, and to refer, in a manner not to be 
misunderstood, to the personal affairs of our late candidate — aye, and 
notwithstanding his base defeat, we will add, our future member, Mr. 
Fizkin. What does our dastardly contemporary mean ? What would 
the ruffian say, if we, setting at naught, like him, the decencies of social 
intercourse, were to raise the curtain which happily conceals his private 
life from general ridicule, not to say from general execration ? What^ 
if we were even to point out, and comment on, facts and circumstances 
which are publicly notorious, and beheld by every one, but our mole- 
eyed contemporary — what if we were to print the following effusion, 
which we received while we were writing the commencement of this 
article, from a talented fellow-townsman and correspondent : — 


" ' Oh Pott! if you*d known 

How false she'd have grown, 
When you heard the marriage bells tinkle ; 

You'd have done then, I vow, 

What you cannot help now, 
And handed her over to W * * * * *.'" 

" What," said Mr. Pott, solemnly — " what rhymes to ' tinkle,' 
villain ?" 

"What rhymes to tinkle?" said Mrs. Pott, whose entrance at the 
moment forestalled the reply. " What rhymes to tinkle ? Why, Winkle, 
I should conceive : " and saying this, Mrs. Pott smiled sweetly on the 
disturbed Pickwickian, and extended her hand towards him. The 
agitated young man would have accepted it, in his confusion, had not 
Pott indignantly interposed. 

" Back, Ma'am— hack," said the editor. " Take his hand before my 
very face ! " 

" Mr. P. ! " said his astonished lady. 

" Wretched woman, look here," exclaimed the husband. " Look 


here, Ma'am — * Lines to a brass Pot,' Ma'am. * Brass pot ;' — that's me, 
Ma'am. * False she'd have grown ;' — that's you, Ma'am — you." With 
this ebullition of rage, which was not unaccompanied with something 
like a tremble, at the expression of his wife's face, Mr. Pott clashed the 
current number of the Eatanswill Independent at her feet. 

" Upon my word, Sir," said the astonished Mrs. Pott, stooping to 
pick up the paper. " Upon my word. Sir." 

Mr. Pott winced ben-eath the contemptuous gaze of his wife. He 
had made a desperate struggle to screw up his courage, but it was fast 
coming unscrewed again. 

There appears nothing very tremendous in this little sentence, 
" Upon my word. Sir," when it comes to be read ; but the tone of voice 
in which it was delivered, and the look that accompanied it, both seem 
ing to bear reference to some revenge to be thereafter wreaked upon 
the head of Pott, produced their full effect upon him. The most un- 
skilful observer could have detected in his troubled countenance, a readi- 
ness to resign his Wellington boots to any efficient substitute who 
would have consented to stand in them at that moment. 

Mrs. Pott read the paragraph, uttered a loud shriek, and threw herself 
at full length on the hearth-rug, screaming, and tapping it with the 
heels of her shoes, in a manner which could leave no doubt of the 
propriety of her feelings on the occasion. 

" My dear," said the terrified Pott, — " I did'nt say I believed it ; — 

I " but the unfortunate man's voice was drowned in the screaming 

of his partner. 

" Mrs. Pott, let me entreat you, my dear Ma'am, to compose your- 
self," said Mr. Winkle ; but the shrieks and tappings were louder, and 
more frequent, than ever. 

" My dear," said Mr. Pott, " I am very sorry. If you won't consider 
your own health, consider me, my dear. We shall have a crowd round 
the house." But the more strenuously Mr. Pott entreated, the more 
vehemently the screams poured forth. 

Very fortunately, however, attached to Mrs. Pott's person was a 
body-guard of one, a young lady whose ostensible employment was 
to preside over her toilet, but who rendered herself useful in a variety 
of ways, and in none more so than in the particular department of con- 
stantly aiding and abetting her mistress in every wish and inclination 
opposed to the desires of the unhappy Pott. The screams reached this 
young lady's ears in due course, and brought her to the room with a 
F:peed which threatened to derange materially, the very exquisite arrange- 
ment of her cap and ringlets. 

" Oh, my dear, dear mistress ! " exclaimed the body-guard, kneeling 
frantically by the side of the prostrate Mrs. Pott. " Oh, my dear mis- 
tress, what is the matter?" 

" Your master — your brutal master," murmured the patient. 

Pott was evidently giving way. 

" It's a shame," said the body-guard, reproachfully. " I know he'll 
be the death on you. Ma'am. Poor dear thing." 

He gave way more. The opposite party followed up the attack. 

Q 2 


" Oh don't ieave me — don't leave, Goodwin," murmured Mrs. Pott, 
clutching- at the wrists of the said Goodwin with an hysteric jerk. 
" You're the only person that's kind to me, Goodwin." 

At this affecting- appeal, Goodwin got up a little domestic tragedy of 
her own, and shed tears copiously. 

" Never, Ma'am — never," said Goodwin. " Oh, Sir, you should be 
careful — you should indeed ; you don't know what harm you may do 
Missis ; you'll be sorry for it one day, I know — I've always said so." 

The unlucky Pott looked timidly on, but said nothing. 

" Goodwin," said Mrs. Pott, in a soft voice. 

" Ma'am," said Goodwin. 

" If you only knew how I have loved that man " 

" Don't distress yourself by recollecting it, Ma'am," said the body- 

Pott looked very frightened. It was time for a clencher. 

" And now," sobbed Mrs. Pott — " now, after all, to be treated in this 
way ; to be reproached and insulted in the presence of a third party, 
and that party almost a stranger. But I will not submit to it, Good- 
win," continued Mrs. Pott, raising herself, in the arms of her attendant. 
" My brother, the Lieutenant, shall interfere. I'll be separated, 

" It would certainly serve him right. Ma'am," said Goodwin. 

Whatever thoughts the threat of a separation might have awakened 
in Mr. Pott's mind, he forbore to give utterance to them, and contented 
himself by saying, with g-reat humility, — 

*' My dear, will you hear me?" 

A fresh train of sobs was the only reply, as Mrs, Pott grew more 
hysterical, requested to be informed why she was ever born, and 
required sundry other pieces of information of a similar description. 

" My dear," remonstrated Mr. Pott, " do not give way to these sen- 
sitive feelings. I never believed that the paragraph had any founda- 
tion, my dear — impossible. I was only angry, my dear — I may say 
outrageous — with the Independent people for daring to insert it ; 
that's all :" and Mr. Pott cast an imploring look at the innocent 
cause of the mischief, as if to entreat him to say nothing about the 

" And what steps. Sir, do you mean to take to obtain redress ? " 
inquired Mr. Winkle, gaining courage as he saw Pott losing it. 

" Oh, Goodwin," observed Mrs. Pott, "does he mean to horsewhip 
the editor of the Independent — does he, Goodwin?" 

" Hush, hush, Ma'am ; pray keep yourself quiet," replied the body- 
guard. " I dare say he will, if you wish it. Ma'am." 

" Certainly," said Pott, as his wife evinced decided symptoms of going 
off again — " of course I shall." 

"When, Goodwin — when?" said Mrs. Pott, still undecided about 
the going off. 

" Immediately, of course," said Mr. Pott ; " before the day is out." 

" Oh, Goodwin," resumed Mrs. Pott, " it's the only way of meeting 
the slander, and setting me rig^ht with the world." 


" Certainly, Ma'am," replied Goodwin. " No man as is a man, 
Ma'am, could refuse to do it." 

So as the hysterics were still hovering about, Mr. Pott said once 
more, that he would do it ; but Mrs. Pott was so overcome at the bare 
idea of having ever been suspected, that she was half-a-dozen times on 
the very verge of a relapse, and most unquestionably would have gone 
oflf, had it not been for the indefatigable efforts of the assiduous Good- 
win, and repeated entreaties for pardon from the conquered Pott ; and 
finally, when that unhappy individual had been frightened and snubbed 
down to his proper level, Mrs. Pott recovered, and they went to 

" You will not allow this base newspaper slander to shorten your 
stay here, Mr. Winkle?" said Mrs. Pott, smiling through the traces of 
her tears. 

" I hope not," said Mr. Pott, actuated, as he spoke, by an internal 
wish that his visiter would choke himself with the morsel of dry toast 
which he was raising to his lips at the moment : and so terminate his 
stay effectually. 

" I hope not." 

" You are very good," said Mr. Winkle ; '* but a letter has been 
received from Mr. Pickwick — ^^so I learn by a note from Mr. Tupman, 
which was brought up to my bed-room door, this morning — in which he 
requests us to join him at Bury to-day ; and we are to leave by the 
coach at noon." 

" But you will come back ? " said Mrs. Pott-. 

" Oh, certainly," replied Mr. Winkle. 

" You are quite sure?" said Mrs. Pott, stealing a tender look at her 

" Quite," responded Mr. Winkle. 

The breakfast passed off in silence, for each member of the party was 
brooding over his, or her, own personal grievances. Mrs. Pott was 
regretting the loss of a beau ; Mr. Pott his rash pledge to horse- 
whip the Independent ; and Mr. Winkle his having placed himself in 
so awkward a situation. Noon approached, and after many adieux and 
promises to return, he tore himself away. 

"If he ever comes back, I'll poison him," thought Mr. Pott, as he 
turned into the little back office where he prepared his thunderbolts. 

" If I ever do come back, and mix myself up with these people 
again," thought Mr. Winkle, as he wended his way to the Peacock, " I 
shall deserve to be horsewhipped myself — that's all." 

His friends were ready, the coach was nearly so, and in half an 
hour they were proceeding on their journey, along the road over which 
Mr. Pickwick and Sam had so recently travelled, and of which, as we 
have already said something, we do not feel called upon to extract Mr. 
Snodgrass's poetical and beautiful description. 

Mr. Weller was standing at the door of the Angel, ready to receive 
them, and by that gentleman they were ushered to the apartment of 
Mr. Pickwick, where, to the no small surprise of Mr. Winkle and Mr. 


Snodgrass, and the no small embarrassment of Mr. Tupman, they found 
old Wardle and Trundle. 

" How are you?" said the old man, grasping Mr. Tupman's hand. 
" Don't hang- back, or look sentimental about it; it can't be helped, 
old fellow. For her sake, I wish you'd had her ; for your own, I'm 
very glad you have not. A young fellow like you, will do better one 
of these days — eh?" With this consolation, old Wardle slapped Mr, 
Tupman on the back, and laughed heartily. 

" Well, and how are you, my fine fellows?" said the old gentleman, 
shaking hands with Mr. Winkle and Mr. Snodgrass at the same time. 
" I have just been telling Pickwick that we must have you all down 
at Christmas. W^e're going to have a wedding — a real wedding this 

" A wedding I " exclaimed Mr. Snodgrass, turning very pale. 

" Yes, a wedding. But don't be frightened," said the good-humoured 
old man ; " it's only Trundle there, and Bella." 

" Oh, is that all ?" said Mr. Snodgrass, relieved from a painful doubt 
which had fallen heavily on his breast. " Give you joy. Sir. How 
is Joe ? " 

" Oh, he ; — very well," replied the old gentleman. " Sleepy as ever." 

" And your mother, and the clergyman, and all of 'em ? " 

" Quite well." 

" Where," said Mr. Tupman^ with an effort — "where is — shCi Sir?" 
and he turned away his head, and covered his eyes with his hand. 

" She !" said the old gentleman, with a knowing shake of the head. 
" Do you mean my single relative — eh ? " 

Mr. Tupman, by a nod, intimated that his question applied to the 
disappointed Rachael. 

" Oh, she's gone away," said the old gentleman. " She's living at a 
relation's, far enough off. She couldn't bear to see the girls, so I let 
her go. But come, here's the dinner. You must be hungry after 
your ride. I am, without any ride at all ; so let us fall to." 

Ample justice was done to the meal ; and when they were seated 
round the table, after it had been disposed of, Mr. Pickwick, to the 
intense horror and indignation of his followers, related the adventure 
he had undergone^ and the success which had attended the base artifices 
of the diabolical Jingle. 

" And the attack of rheumatism which I caught in that garden," said 
Mr. Pickwick, in conclusion, " renders me lame at this moment." 

" I, too, have had something of an adventure," said Mr. Winkle, 
with a smile ; and at the request of Mr. Pickwick, he detailed the 
malicious libel of the Eatanswill Independent, and the consequent 
excitement of their friend, the editor. 

Mr. Pickwick's brow darkened, during the recital. His friends ob- 
served it, and, when Mr. Winkle had concluded, maintained a profound 
silence. Mr. Pickwick struck the table emphatically with his clenched 
fist, and spoke as follows : — 

" Is it not a wonderful circumstance," said Mr. Pickwick, " that we 


seem destined to enter no man's house, without involving him in some 
degree of trouble ? Does it not, I ask^ bespeak tlie indiscretion, or, 
worse than that, the blackness of heart — that I should say so ! — of my 
followers, that, beneath whatever roof they locate, they disturb the peace 
of mind and happiness of some confiding- female ? Is it not, I say " 

Mr. Pickwick would in all probability have gone on for some time, 
had not the entrance of Sam, with a letter, caused him to break off in 
his eloquent discourse. He passed his handkerchief across his forehead, 
took off his spectacles, wiped them, and put them on again ; and his 
voice had recovered its wonted softness of tone, when he said, — 

" What have you there, Sam?" 

" Called at the Post-office just now, and found this here letter, as 
has laid there for two days," repHed Mr. Weller. " It's sealed vith a 
vufer, and directed in round hand." 

" I don't know this hand," said Mr. Pickwick, opening the letter. 
*' Mercy on us ! what's this ? It must be a jest ; it — it — can't be true." 

" What's the matter ? " was the general inquiry. 

" Nobody dead, is there ? " said Wardle, alarmed at the horror in Mr. 
Pickwick's countenance. 

Mr. Pickwick made no reply, but, pushing the letter across the table, 
and desiring Mr. Tupman to read it aloud, fell tack in his chair with a 
look of vacant astonishment quite alarming to behold. 

Mr. Tupman, with a trembling voice, read the letter, of which the 
following is a copy : — 

S'teemau'd Court, Cotu^iff, Jlugudt 28t^j ^1830. 

TSarDeff aaain^t Tickwiclc. 

Xovitt^ ^eeu titdttucted ^u Ji%i6. JlXatt^ci T^at()eff, 
to coiumeuce an action aqaiudt liou, for a 6reacll of proiiit^e of 
iiiartta^e, ^ot wAicft t^e pfaiuti|^ faiid fiet ciamaqed at fifteen 
^iuii<)re<) pouiiOd, we ije^ to tiiforiit itou tftat a wttt fiaA ^eeii i^Auei) 
a^aui^it iiou lu tnid duit, iii tfie Goutt o? Coiiiiitoii Wead ; and 
tecjuedt to Kitow, ^i^ zetuzii of podt, t^e name of uout attcrtteu in 
.^j>uc)oiij wfto wiff accept detcice thereof. 

VVe are, otr, 

xlour o6ec)ient detvaiitd, 

WoddOii and SI'oqq. 
Jlxr. oaiMuef Ttcksvick. 

There was something so impressive in the mute astonishment with 
which each man regarded his neighbour, and every man regarded Mr 
Pickwick, that all seemed afraid to speak. The silence was at length 
broken by Mr. Tupman. 


•' Dodson and Fogg," he repeated mechanically. 

" Bardell and Pickwick," said Mr. Snodgrass, musing. 

" Peace of mind and happiness of confiding females," murmured Mr. 
Winkle, with an air of abstraction. 

" It's a conspiracy," said Mr. Pickwick, at length recovering the 
power of speech ; — " a base conspiracy between these two grasping 
attorneys, Dodson and Fogg. Mrs. Bardell would never do it ;— she 
hasn't the heart to do it ; — she hasn't the case to do it. Ridiculous — 

'' Of her heart," said Wardle, with a smile, " you should certainly be 
the best judge. I don't wish to discourage you, but I should certainly 
say that, of her case, Dodson and Fogg are far better judges than any 
of us, can be." 

" It's a vile attempt to extort money," said Mr. Pickwick. 

" I hope it is," said Wardle, with a short, dry cough, 

" Who ever heard me address her in any way but that in which a 
lodger would address his landlady ? " continued Mr. Pickwick, with great 
vehemence. " Who ever saw me with her ? Not even my friends 
here " 

" Except on one occasion," said Mr. Tupman. 

Mr. Pickwick changed colour. 

" Ah," said Wardle. " Well, that's important. There was nothing 
suspicious then, I suppose?" 

Mr. Tupman glanced timidly at his leader. " Why," he said, " there 
was nothing suspicious ; but — I don't know how it happened, mind — 
she certainly was reclining in his arms." 

" Gracious powers ! " ejaculated Mr. Pickwick, as the recollection of 
the scene in question, struck forcibly upon him ; — " what a dreadful 
instance of the force of circumstances ! So she was — so she was." 

" And our friend was soothing her anguish," said Mr. Winkle, rather 

" So I was,'* said Mr. Pickwick. " I won't deny it. So I was." 

" Hallo ! " said Wardle ; " for a case in which there's nothing sus- 
picious, this looks rather queer — eh, Pickwick — eh ? Ah, sly dog — 
sly dog I " and he laughed till the glasses on the side-board, rang 

" What a dreadful conjunction of appearances ! " exclaimed Mr. Pick- 
wick, resting his chin upon his hands, " Winkle — Tupman — I beg your 
pardon for the observations I made just now. We are all the victims 
of circumstances, and I the greatest.'.' With this apology, Mr. Pickwick 
buried his head in his hands, and ruminated ; while Wardle measured 
out a regular circle of nods and winks, addressed to the other members 
of the company. 

" I'll have it explained, though," said Mr. Pickwick, raising his head, 
and hammering the table. " I'll see this Dodson and Fogg. I'll go to 
London to-morrow," 

" Not to-morrow," said Wardle ; " you're too lame." 

" Well then, next day." 

" Next day is the first of September, and you're pledged to ride out 



with us, as far as Sir Geoffrey Manning's grounds, at all erents, and to 
meet us at lunch, if you don't take the field." 

" Well then, the day after," said Mr. Pickwick ; " Thursday Sara." 

" Sir," replied Mr. Weller. 

" Take two places outside to London, on Thursday morning, for 
yourself and me." 

" Wery well, Sir." 

Mr. Weller left the looin, and departed slowly on his errand, with his 
hands in his pocket, and his eyes fixed on the ground. 

" Rum feller, the hemperor," said Mr. Weller, as he walked slowly 
up the street. " Think o' his makin' up to that ere Mrs. Bardell — vith 
a little boy, too ! Always the vay vith these here old 'uns hows'ever, 
as is such steady goers to look at. I didn't think he'd ha' done it, 
though — I didn't think he'd ha' done it." And moralising in this 
strain^ Mr. Samuel Weller bent his steps towards the booking-office. 



The birds, who, happily for their own peace of mind, and personal 
comfort, were in blissful ignorance of the preparations which had been 
making to astonish them, on the first of September, hailed it no doubt, 
as one of the pleasantest mornings they had seen that season. Many 
a young partridge who strutted complacently among the stubble, with 
all the finicking coxcombry of youth, and many an older one who 
watched his levity out of his little round eye, with the conlemptuoas 
air of a bird of wisdom and experience, alike unconscious of their 
approaching doom, basked in the fresh morning air with lively and 
blithesome feelings, and a few hours afterwards were laid low upon the 
earth. But we grow affecting : let us proceed. 

In plain common-place matter-of-fact, then, it was a fine morning — 
so fine that you would scarcely have believed that the few months of an 
English summer had yet flown by. Hedges, fields, and trees, hill and 
moorland, presented to the eye their ever-varying shades of deep rich 
green ; scarce a leaf had fallen, scarce a sprinkle of yellow mingled 
with the hues of summer, warned you that autumn had begun. The 
sky was cloudless ; the sun shone out bright and warm ; the songs of 
birds, and hum of myriads of summer insects, filled the air ; and the 
cottage gardens, crowded with flowers of every rich and beautiful tint, 
sparkled in the heavy dew, like beds of glittering jewels. Everything 
bore the stamp of summer, and none of its beautiful colours had yet 
faded from the die. 

Such was the morning, when an open carriage, in which were three 
Pickwickians, (Mr. Snodgrass having preferred to remain at home,) Mr. 
Wardle, and Mr. Trundle, with Sam Weller on the box beside the 
driver, pulled up by a gate at the road-side, before which stood a tall, 
raw-boned gamekeeper, and a half-booted, leather-leggined boy : each 


bearing a bag of capacious dimensions, aad accompanied by a brace of 

" I say," whispered Mr. Winkle to Wardle, as the man let down the 
Steps, " they don't suppose we're going to kill game enough to fill those 
bags, do they ? " 

« Fill them ! " exclaimed old Wardle. " Bless you, yes ! You shall fill 
one, and I the other ; and when we've done with them, the pockets of 
our shooting-jackets will hold as much more." 

Mr. Winkle dismounted without saying anything in reply to this 
observation ; but he thought within himself, that if the party remained 
in the open air, till he had filled one of the bags, they stood a considerable 
chance of catching tolerable colds in the head. 

" Hi, Juno, lass — hi, old girl ; down, Daph, down," said Wardle, 
caressing the dogs. " Sir Geoffrey still in Scotland, of course, Martin?" 

The tall gamekeeper replied in the affirmative, and looked with some 
surprise from Mr, Winkle, who was holding his gun as if he wished his 
coat pocket to save him the trouble of pulling the trigger, to Mr. Tup- 
man, who was holding his, as if he were afraid of it — as there is no 
earthly reason to doubt that he really was. 

" My friends are not much in the way of this sort of thing yet, 
Martin," said Wardle, noticing the look. " Live and learn, you know. 
They'll be good shots one of these days. I beg my friend Winkle's 
pardon, though ; he has had some practice." 

Mr. Winkle smiled feebly over his blue neckerchief in acknowledg- 
ment of the compliment, and got himself so mysteriously entangled 
with his gun, in his modest confusion, that if the piece had been loaded, 
he must inevitably have shot himself dead upon the spot. 

" You mustn't handle your piece in that ere way, when you come to 
have the charge in it, Sir," said the tall gamekeeper gruffly, " or I'm 
damned if you won't make cold meat of some on us." 

Mr. Winkle, thus admonished, abruptly altered its position, and in so 
doing, contrived to bring the barrel into pretty smart contact with Mr. 
Weller's head. 

" Hallo ! " said Sam, picking up his hat, which had been knocked off, 
and rubbing his temple. " Hallo, Sir ! if you comes it this vay, you'll 
fill one o* them bags, and something to spare, at one fire." 

Here the leather-leggined boy laughed very heartily, and then tried 
to look as if it was somebody else, whereat Mr. Winkle frowned 

" Where did you tell the boy to meet us with the snack, Martin?" 
inquired Wardle. 

" Side of One-tree Hill, at twelve o'clock. Sir." 

" That's not Sir Geoffrey's land, is it?" 

"No, Sir; but it's close by it. It's Captain Boldwig's land; but 
there'll be nobody to interrupt us, and there's a fine bit of turf there." 

" Very well," said old Wardle. " Now the sooner we're off the better. 
Will you join us at twelve, then, Pickwick ? " 

Mr. Pickwick was particularly desirous to view the sport, the more 
especially as he was rather anxious in respect of Mr. Winkle's life and 




limbs. On so inviting- a morning, too, it was very tantalising to turn 
back, and leave his friends to enjoy themselves. It was, therefore, with 
a very rueful air that he replied, — 
" Why, I suppose I must." 

♦* An't the gentleman a shot, Sir?" inquired the long gamekeeper. 
" No," replied Wardle ; " and he's lame besides." 

" I should very much like to go," said Mr. Pickwick — " very 

There was a short pause of commiseration. 

" There's a barrow t'other side the hedge," said the boy. " If the 
gentleman's servant would wheel along the paths, he could keep nigh 
us, and we could lift it over the stiles and that." 

" The wery thing," said Mr. Weller, who was a party interested, 
inasmuch as he ardently longed to see the sport. " The wery thing. 
Well said. Small-check ; I'll have it out, in a minute." 

But here a difficulty arose. The long gamekeeper resolutely pro- 
tested against the introduction into a shooting-party, of a gentleman in 
a barrow, as a gross violation of all established rules and precedents. 

It was a great objection, but not an insurmountable one. The game- 
keeper having been coaxed and feed, and having, moreover, eased his 
mind by " punching" the head of the inventive youth who had first 
suggested the use of the machine, Mr. Pickwick was placed in it, and 
off the party set ; Wardle and the long gamekeeper leading the way, 
and Mr. Pickwick in the barrow, propelled by Sam, bringing up the 

" Stop, Sara," said Mr. Pickwick, when they had got half across the 
first field. 

" What's the matter now ? " said Wardle. 

" I won't suffer this barrow to be moved another step," said Mr. 
■Pickwick, resolutely, " unless Winkle carries that gun of his, in a 
different manner." 

" How am I to carry it? " said the wretched Winkle. 

" Carry it with the muzzle to the ground," replied Mr. Pickwick. 

" It's so unsportsman-like," reasoned Winkle. 

" I don't care whether it's unsportsman-like or not," replied Mr. 
Pickwick ; " I am not going to be shot in a wheelbarrow, for the sake 
of appearances, to please anybody." 

" I know the gentleman '11 put that ere charge into somebody afore 
he's done," growled the long man. 

♦ " Well, well — I don't mind," said poor Mr. Winkle, turning his gun 
stock uppermost ; — " there." 

" Anythin' for a quiet life," said Mr. Weller ; and on they went 

" Stop," said Mr. Pickwick, after they had gone a few yards further. 

" What now? " said Wardle. 

" That gun of Tupman's is not safe : I know it isn't," said Mr. 

" Eh ? What i not safe ? " said Mr. Tupman, in a tone of great 


" Not as you are carrying it/' said Mr. Pickwick. ^' I am very sorry to 
make any further objection, but I cannot consent to go on, unless you 
carry it, as Winkle does his." 

" I think you had better, Sir," said the long gamekeeper, " or you're 
quite as likely to lodge the charge in your own vestcoat as in anybody 

Mr. Tupman, with the most obliging haste, placed his piece in the 
position required, and the party moved on again ; the two amateurs 
marching with reversed arms, like a couple of privates at a royal 

The dogs suddenly came to a dead stop, and the party advancing 
stealthily a single pace, stopped too. 

'* What's the matter with the dogs' legs ? " whispered Mr. Winkle. 
" How queer they're standing." 

" Hush, can't you ? " replied Wardle, softly. " Don't you see, they're 
making a point ? " 

" Making a point ! " said Mr. Winkle, staring about him^ as if he 
expected to discover some particular beauty in the landscape, which the 
sagacious animals were calling special attention to. " Making a point ! 
W^hat are they pointing at ? " 

" Keep your eyes open," said Wardle, not heeding the question in 
the excitement of the moment. " Now then." 

There was a sharp Whirring noise, that made Mr. Winkle start back 
as if he had been shot himself. Bang, bang, went a couple of guns ; — 
the smoke swept quickly away over the field, and curled into the air. 

" Where are they ? " said Mr. Winkle, in a state of the highest 
excitement, turning round and round in all directions. " Where are 
they ? Tell me when to fire. Where are they — where are they ? " 

" Where are they I " said Wardle, taking up a brace of birds which 
the dogs had deposited at his feet. " Where are they ! Why, here 
they are." 

" No, no ; I mean the others," said the bewildered Winkle. 

*' Far enough oif, by this time," replied Wardle, coolly reloading 
his gun. 

" We shall very likely be up with another covey in five minutes," 
said the long gamekeeper. " If the gentleman begins to fire now, 
perhaps he'll just get the shot out of the barrel bv the time they 

" Ha ! ha ! ha ! " roared Mr. Weller. 

" Sam," said Mr. Pickwick, compassionating his follower's confusion 
and embarrassment. 

'^ Sir." 

" Don't laugh." 

•' Certainly not, Sir." So, by way of indemnification, Mr. Welle 
contorted his features from behind the wheelbarrow, for the exclusive 
amusement of the boy with the leggings, who thereupon burst into 
a boisterous laugh, and was summarily cuffed by the long game- 
keeper, who wanted a pretext for turning round, to hide his own 



" Bravo, old fellow 1 " said Wardle to Mr. Tupnian ; " yon fired that 
time, at all events." 

" Oh yes," replied Mr. Tupman, with conscious pride. " I let 
it off." 

" Well done. You'll hit something next time, if you look sharp. 
Very easy, ain't it?" 

" Yes, it's very easy," said Mr. Tupman. " How it hurts one's 
shoulder, though. It nearly knocked me backwards. I had no idea 
these small fire-arms kicked so." 

"Ah," said the old gentleman, smiling; "you'll get used to it, in 
time. Now then — all ready — all right with the barrow there? " 

« All right. Sir," replied Mr. Weller. 

" Come along then." 

" Hold hard. Sir," said Sam, raising the barrow, 

" Aye, aye," replied Mr. Pickwick ; and on they went, as briskly as 
need be. 

" Keep that barrow back now," cried Wardle, when it had been 
hoisted over a stile into another field, and Mr. Pickwick had been 
deposited in it once more. 

" All right. Sir," replied Mr. Weller, pausing. 

" Now Winkle," said the old gentleman, " follow me softly, and don't 
be too late this time." 

" Never fear," said Mr. Winkle. " Are they pointing?" 

" No, no ; not now. Quietly now, quietly." On they crept, and 
Tery quietly they would have advanced, if Mr. Winkle, in the perform- 
ance of some very intricate evolutions with his gun, had not accidentally 
fired, at the most critical moment, over the boy's head, exactly in the 
Tery spot where the tall man's brain would have been, had he been 
there instead. 

" Why, what on earth did you do that for ? " said old Wardle, as the 
birds flew unharmed away. 

" I never saw such a gun in my life," replied poor Winkle, looking 
at the lock, as if that would do any good. " It goes off, of its own 
accord. It will do it." 

" Will do it ! " echoed Wardle, with something of irritation in bis 
manner. " I wish it would kill something of its own accord." 

« It '11 do that afore long, Sir," observed the tall man, in a low, 
prophetic voice. 

" What do you mean by that observation, Sir?" inquired Mr. Winkle, 

"Never mind, Sir— never mind," replied the long gamekeeper; — 
" I've no family myself, Sir ; and this here boy's mother will get some- 
thing handsome from Sir Geoffrey, if he's killed on his land. Load 
again, Sir — load again." 

" Take away his gun," cried Mr. Pickwick from the barrow, horror- 
stricken at the long man's dark insinuations. " Take away his gun, 
do you hear, somebody ? " 

Nobody, however, volunteered to obey the command; and Mr. 


Winkle, after darting a rebellious glance at Mr. Pickwick, reloaded his 
gun, and proceeded onwards with the rest. 

We are bound, on the authority of Mr. Pickwick, to state, that 
Mr. Tupman's mode of proceeding evinced far more of prudence and 
deliberation, than that adopted by Mr. Winkle. Still, this by no means 
detracts from the great authority of the latter gentleman, on all matters 
connected with the field ; because, as Mr. Pickwick beautifully observes, 
it has somehow or other happened, from time immemorial, that many 
of the best and ablest philosophers, who have been perfect lights of 
science in matters of theory, have been wholly unable to reduce them 
to practice. 

Mr. Tupman's process, like many of our most sublime discoveries, 
was extremely simple. With the quickness and penetration of a man 
of genius, he had at once observed that the two great points to be 
attained were — first, to discharge his piece without injury to himself, 
and, secondly, to do so, without danger to the by-standers ; — obviously, 
the best thing to do, after surmounting the difficulty of firing at all, 
was to shut his eyes firmly, and fire into the air. 

On one occasion, after performing this feat, Mr. Tupman, on opening 
his eyes, beheld a plump partridge in the very act of falling wounded to 
the ground. He was just on the point of congratulating Wardle on 
his invariable success, when that gentleman advanced towards him, and 
grasped him warmly by the hand. 

" Tupman," said the old gentleman, '' you singled out that particular 
bird ?" 

" No," said Mr. Tupman—" no." 

" You did," said Wardle. " I saw you do it — I observed you pick 
him out — I noticed you^ as you raised your piece to take aim ; and I 
will say this, that the best shot in existence could not have done it 
more beautifully. You are an older hand at this, than I thought you, 
Tupman ; — you have been out before." 

It was in vain for Mr. Tupman to protest, with a smile of self-denial, 
that he never had. The very smile was taken as evidence to the con- 
trary ; and from that time forth, his reputation was established. It is 
not the only reputation that has been acquired as easily, nor are such 
fortunate circumstances confined to partridge-shooting. 

Meanwhile, Mr. Winkle flashed, and blazed, and smoked away, 
without producing any material results worthy of being noted down jj 
sometimes expending his charge in mid-air, and at others sending itj 
skimming along so near the surface of the ground, as to place the livet 
of the two dogs on a rather uncertain and precarious tenure. As a] 
display of fancy- shooting, it was extremely varied and curious; as an' 
exhibition of firing with any precise object, it was, upon the whole, 
perhaps a failure. It is an established axiom, that " every bullet has 
its billet." If it apply in an equal degree to shots, those of Mr. 
Winkle were unfortunate foundlings, deprived of their natural rights, 
cast loose upon the world, and billeted nowhere. 

"Well," said Wardle, walking up to the side of the barrow, and 



wipinp^ the streams of perspiration from his jolly red face; *•' smoking 
day, isn't it ? " 

" It is indeed," replied Mr. Pickwick. " The sun is tremendously 
hot, even to me. 1 don't know how you must feel it." 

" Why/' said the old gentleman, " pretty hot. It's past twelve, 
though. You see that green hill there ? " 

" Certainly." 

" That's the place where we are to lunch ; and, by Jove, there's the 
boy with the l)asket, punctual as clock-work." 

" So he is," said Mr. Pickwick, brightening up. " Good boy, that. 
I'll give him a sHiilling, presently. Now, then, Sam, wheel away." 

" Hold on. Sir," said Mr. Weller, invigorated with the prospect of 
refreshments. *' Out of the vay, young leathers. If you walley my 
precious life don't upset me, as the genTman said to the driver, when 
they was a carry in' him to Tyburn." And quickening his pace to a 
sharp run, Mr. Weller wheeled his mtister nimbly to the green hill, shot 
him dexterously out by the very side of the basket, and proceeded to 
unpack it with the utmost dispatch. 

" Weal pie," said Mr. WeWer, soliloquising, as he arranged the eatables 
on the grass. *' Wery good thing is a weal pie, when you know the 
lady as made it, and is quite sure it an't kittens ; and arter all though, 
Where's the odds, when they're so like weal that the wery piemen them- 
selves don't know the difference ? " 

" Don't they, Sam ? " said Mr. Pickwick. 

" Not they. Sir," replied Mr. Weller, touching his hat. " I lodged 
in the same house vith a pieman once. Sir, and a wery nice man he 
was — reg'lar clever chap, too — make pies out o' anything, he could. 
* What a number o' cats you keep, Mr. Brooks/ says I, when I'd got 
intimate with him. ' Ah,* says he, ' I do — a good many/ says he. * You 
must be wery fond o' cats/ says I. ' Other people is,' says he, a winkin' 
at me ; * they an't in season till the winter though,' says he. * Not in 
season ! ' says I. * No,' says he, ' fruits is in, cats is out.' ' Why, 
what do you mean ? ' says I. ' Mean ? ' says he. ' That I'll never be a 
party to the combination o' the butchers, to keep up the prices o' meat,' 
says he. ' Mr. Weller,' says he, squeezing my hand wery hard, and 
vispering in my ear — ' don't mention this here agin, but it's the sea- 
sonin' as does it. They're all made o' them noble animals/ says he, 
a pointin' to a wery nice little tabby kitten, * and I seasons 'em for beef- 
steak, weal, or kidney, 'cordin to the demand ; and more than that,' 
says he, ' I can make a weal a beef-steak, or a beef-steak a kidney, or 
any one on 'em a mutton, at a minute's notice, just as the market 
changes, and appetites wary I ' " 

" He must have been a very ingenious young man, that, Sam/' said 
Mr. Pickwick, with a slight shudder. 

" Just was, Sir," replied Mr. Weller, continuing his occupation of 
emptying the basket, " and the pies was beautiful. Tongue ; well that's 
a wery good thing, when it an't a woman's. Bread — knuckle o' ham, 
reg'lar picter — cold beef in slices, wery good. What's in them stone 
jars, young touch-and-go ? " 


" Beer in this one," replied the boy, taking- from his shoulder a couple 
of larg-e stone bottles, fastened tO;£;ether bv a leathern strap—" cold 
punch in t'other." " ^''^'. 

" And a wery good notion of a lunch it is, take it altogetheri'^^Vatd 
Mr. Weller, surveying- his arrangement of the repast with great satis- 
faction. " Now, genTmen, ' fall on,' as the English said to the French 
when they fixed bagginets." 

It needed no second invitation to induce the party to yield full justice 
to the meal ; and as little pressing did it require, to induce Mr. Weller, 
the long gamekeeper, and the two boys, to station themselves on the 
grass at a little distance, and do good execution upon a decent propor- 
tion of the viands. An old oak tree afforded a pleasant shelter to the 
group, and a rich prospect of arable and meadow land, intersected with 
luxuriant hedges, and richly ornamented with wood> lay spread out 
below them. 

" This is delightful — thoroughly delightful I '* said Mr. Pickwick, 
the skin of whose expressive countenance, was rapidly peeling off, with 
exposure to the sun. 

*^ So it is — so it is, old fellow," replied Wardle. '* Come ; a glass of 

" With great pleasure," said Mr. Pickwick ; and the satisfaction of his 
countenance after drinking it, bore testimony to the sincerity of the 

" Good," said Mr. Pickwick, smacking his lips. " Very good. I'll 
oake another. Cool ; very cool. Come, gentlemen," continued Mr. 
Pickwick, still retaining his hold upon the jar, " a toast. Our friends 
at Dingley Dell." 

The toast was drunk with loud acclamations. 

*' I'll tell you what I shall do, to get up my shooting again," said 
Mr. Winkle, who was eating bread and ham with a pocket-knife. *' I'll 
put a stuffed partridge on the top of a post, and practise at it, beginning 
at a short distance, and lengthening it by degrees. I understand it's 
capital practice." 

*' I know a genTman, Sir," said Mr. Weller, " as did that, and begun 
at two yards ; but he never tried it on agin ; for he blowed the bird 
right clean away at the first fire, and nobody ever seed a feather on him 

" Sam," said Mr. Pickwick. 

'' Sir," replied Mr. Weller. 

" Have the goodness to reserve your anecdotes, 'till they are called 

" Cert'nly, Sir.'' 

Here Mr. W^eller winked the eye which was not concealed by the 
beer-can he was raising to his lips, with such exquisite facetiousness, 
that the two boys went into spontaneous convulsions, and even the 
long man condescended to smile. 

" Well, that certainly is most capital cold punch," said Mr. Pick- 
wick, looking earnestly at the stone bottle ; " and the day is extremely 
warm, and — Tupman, my dear friend^ a glass of punch ? " 


« Witli the greatest delight," replied Mr. Tupman; and liaving- drunk 
that glass, Mr. Pickwick took another, just to see whether there was 
any orange peel in the punch, because orange peel always disagreed with 
him ; and finding that there was not, Mr. Pickwick took another glass 
to the health of their absent friend, and then felt himself imperatively 
called upon to propose another in honour of the punch-compounder, 

This constant succession of glasses, produced considerable effect upon 
Mr. Pickwick ; his countenance beamed with the most sunny smiles, 
laughter played around his lips, and good-humoured merriment twinkled 
in his eye. Yielding by degrees to the influence of the exciting liquid- 
rendered more so by the heat, Mr. Pickwick expressed a strong desire 
to recollect a song which he had heard in his infancy, and the attempt 
proving abortive, sought to stimulate his memory with more glasses of 
punch, which appeared to have quite a contrary effect ; for, from forget, 
ting the words of the song, he began to forget how to articulate any 
words at all ; and finally, after rising to his legs to address the company 
in an eloquent speech, he fell into the barrow, and fast asleep, simul- 

The basket having been repacked, and it being found perfectly impossi- 
ble to awaken Mr. Pickwick from his torpor, some discussion took place 
whether it would be better for Mr. Weller to wheel his master back 
again, or to leave him where he was, until they should all be ready to 
return. The latter course was at length decided on ; and as their further 
expedition was not to exceed an hour's duration, and as Mr. Weller 
begged very hard to be one of the party, it was determined to leave Mr. 
Pickwick asleep in the barrow, and to call for him on their return. So 
away they went, leaving Mr. Pickwick snoring most comfortably in the 

That Mr. Pickwick would have continued to snore in the shade until 
his friends came back, or, in default thereof until the shades of evening 
had fallen on the landscape, there appears no reasonable cause to doubt; 
always supposing that he had been suffered to remain there, in peace. 
But he was not suffered to remain there in peace. And this is what 
prevented him. 

Captain Boldwig was a little fierce man in a stiff black neckerchief 
and blue surtout, who, when he did condescend to walk about his pro- 
perty, did it in company with a thick rattan stick with a brass ferrule, 
and a gardener and sub-gardener with meek faces, to whom (the gar- 
deners, not the stick) Captain Boldwig gave bis orders with all due 
grandeur and ferocity : for Captain Bold wig's wife's sister bad married 
a Marquis, and the Captain's house was a villa, and his land " grounds," 
and it was all very high, and mighty, and great. 

Mr. Pickwick had not been asleep half an hour, when little Captain 
Boldwig, followed by the two gardeners, came striding along as fast as 
his size and importance would let him ; and when he came near the oak 
tree. Captain Boldwig paused, and drew a long breath, and looked at the 
prospect, as if he thought the prospect ought to be highly gratified at 



having- him to take notice of it ; and then he struck the ground enapha- 
lically with his stick, and summoned the head-gardener. 

" Hunt," said Captain Bold wig. 

*' Yes, Sir," said the gardener. 

" Roll this place to-morrow morning — do you hear. Hunt? " 

*' Yes, Sir." 

" And take care that you keep me this place in good order — do you 
hear. Hunt ? " 

« Yes, Sir." 

" And remind me to have a board done about trespassers, and spring 
guns, and all that sort of thing, to keep the common people out. Do 
you hear. Hunt ; do you hear ? " 

" I'll not forget it, Sir." 

" I beg your pardon. Sir," said the other man, advancing, with his 
hand to his hat. 

" Well, Wilkins, what's the matter with j/om ? " said Captain Boldwig. 

" I beg your pardon, Sir — but I think there have been trespassers 
here to-day." 

*' Ha I " said the Captain, scowling around him. 

" Yes, Sir — they have been dining here, I think. Sir.'* 

<* Why, damn their audacity, so they have," said Captain Boldwig, 
as the crumbs and fragments that were strewn upon the grass, met his 
eye. *' They have actually been devouring their food here. I wish I 
had the vagabonds here ! " said the Captain, clenching the thick stick. 

" I wish I had the vagabonds here," said the Captain wrathfuUy. 

'' Beg your pardon, Sir," said Wilkins, " but — " 

" But what ? Eh ? " roared the Captain ; and following the timid 
glance of Wilkins, his eyes encountered the wheelbarrow and Mr. 

" Who are you, you rascal ? " said the Captain, administering several 
pokes to Mr. Pickwick's body with the thick stick. " What's your 

" Cold punch," murmured Mr. Pickwick, as he sunk to sleep again. 

•' What ? " demanded Captain Boldwig. 

No reply. 

" What did he say his name was ? " asked the Captain. 
• " Punch, I think. Sir," replied Wilkins. 

" That's his impudence — that's his confounded impudence," said 
Captain Boldwig. '' He's only feigning to be asleep now," said the 
Captain, in a high passion. " He's drunk; he's a drunken plebeian. 
W^heel him away, Wilkins, wheel him away directly." 

« Where shall I wheel him to, Sir?" inquired Wilkins, with great 


« Wheel him to the Devil," replied Captain Boldwig. 

" Very well. Sir/' said Wilkins. 

" Stay," said the Captain. 

Wilkins stopped accordingly. 

" Wheel him," said the Captain, « wheel him to the pound ; and .et 



/>tt^r- fpy 


•US see whether he calls himself Punch, when he comes to himself. He 
shall not bully me — he shall not bully me. Wheel him away." 

Away Mr. Pickwick was wheeled in compliance with this imperious 
mandate ; and the great Captain Boldwig", swelling with indignation, 
proceeded on his walk. 

Inexpressible was the astonishment of the little party when they 
returned, to find that Mr. Pickwick had disappeared, and taken the 
wheelbarrow with him. It was the most mysterious and unaccountable 
thing that was ever heard of. For a lame man to have got upon his 
legs without any previous notice, and walked off, would have been most 
extraordinary ; but when it came to his wheeling a heavy barrow before 
him, by way of amusement, it grew positively miraculous. They searched 
every nook and corner round, together and separately : they shouted, 
whistled, laughed, called — and all with the same result. Mr. Pickwick 
was not to be found ; and after some hours of fruitless search, they 
arrived at the unwelcome conclusion, that they must g-o home without 

Meanwhile Mr. Pickwick had been wheeled to the Pound, and safely 
deposited therein, fast asleep in the wheelbarrow, to the immeasurable 
delight and satisfaction, not only of all the boys in the village, but three 
fourths of the whole population, who had gathered round in expectation 
of his waking. If their most intense gratification had been awakened 
by seeing him wheeled in, how many hundred-fold was their joy increased 
when, after a few indistinct cries of " Sam ! " he sat up in the barrow, 
and gazed with indescribable astonishment on the faces before him. 

A general shout was of course the signal of his having woke up ; and 
his involuntary inquiry of " What's the matter?" occasioned another, 
louder than the first, if possible. 

" Here's a game," roared the populace. 

" Where am I ? " exclaimed Mr. Pickwick. 

'* In the Pound," replied the mob. 

" How came I here ? What was I doing ? Where was I brought 

" Boldwig — Captain Boldwig," was the only reply. 

" Let me out," cried Mr. Pickwick. " Where's ray servant ? Where 
are my friends ? " 

" You ah't got no friends. Hurrah ! " And then there came a 
turnip, and then a potato, and then an egg, with a few other little 
tokens of the playful disposition of the many-headed. 

How long this scene might have lasted, or how much Mr. Pickwick 
might have suffered, no one can tell, had not a carriage which was 
driving swiftly by, suddenly pulled up, from whence there descended 
old Wardle and Sam Weller, the former of whom, in far less time than 
it takes to write it, if not to read it, had made his way to Mr. Pickwick's 
side, and placed him in the vehicle, just as the latter had concluded the 
third and last round of a single combat with the town-beadle. 

'' Run to the Justice's," cried a dozen voices. 

" Ah, run avay," said Mr. Weller, jumping up on the box. ** Give 
ray compliments — Mr. Veller's compliments — to the Justice, and tell 

R 2 


Ijim I've spoilt his beadle, and tliat, if he'll sveurin a new 'nn, Til come 
))ack agin to-morrow and spoil him. Drive on, old feller." '' 

" I'll give directions for the commencement of an action for false 
imprisonment against this Captain Boldwig, directly I get to London^" 
said Mr. Pickwick, as soon as the carriage turned out of the town. ; 

<' We were trespassing, it seems," said Wardle. 

" I, don't care," said Mr. Pickwick, " I'll bring the action." 

" No, you won't," said Wardle. 

" I will, by — " but as there was a humorous expression in Wardle's 
fiicef Mr. Pickwick checked himself, and said — " Why not ? " 

'' Because," said old Wardle, half-bursting with laughter, *< because 
they might turn round on some of us, and say we had taken too much 
cold punch." 

Do what he would, a smile would come into Mr. Pickwick's face ; the 
smile extended into a laugh, the laugh into a roar, and the roar became 
general. So, to keep up their good humour, they stopped at the first 
road-side tavern they came to, and ordered a glass of brandy and water 
all round, with a magnum of extra strength, for Mr. Samuel Weller. 



In the ground-floor front of a dingy house, at the very furthest end of 
Freeman's Court, Cornhill, sat the four clerks of Messrs. Dodson and 
Fogg, two of His Majesty's Attorneys of the Courts of King's Bench 
and Common Pleas at Westminster, and solicitors of the High Court of 
Chancery : the aforesaid clerks catching about as favourable glimpses of 
Heaven's light and Heaven's sun, in the course of their daily labours, 
as a man might hope to do, were he placed at the bottom of a reasonably 
Jc-ep well ; and without the opportunity of perceiving the stars in the 
day-time, which the latter secluded situation affords. 

The clerks' office of Messrs, Dodson and Fogg was a dark, mouldy, 
earthy-smelling room, with a high wainscotted partition to screen the 
clerks from the vulgar gaze : a couple of old wooden chairs, a very loud- 
ticking clock, an almanack, an umbrella-stand, a row of hat pegs, and a 
few shelves, on which were deposited several ticketed bundles of dirty 
papers, some old deal boxes with paper labels, and sundry decayed stone 
ink bottles of various shapes and.sizes. There was a glass door leading 
into the passage which formed the entrance to the court, and on the 
outer side of this glass door, Mr. Pickwick, closely followed by Sam 
Weller, presented himself on the Friday morning succeeding the occur- 
rence, of which a faithful narration is given in the last chapter. 

" Come in, can't you," cried a voice from behind the partition, in 
reply to Mr. Pickwick's gentle tap at the door. And Mr. Pickwick 
and Sara entered accordingly. 


" Mr. Dodson or Mr. Fog:g: at home, Sir?" inquired Mr. Pickvnck, 
gt ntly, advancing, hat in hand, towards the partition. 

" Mr. Dodson ain't at home, and Mr. Fogg's particularly engaged," 
replied the voice ; and at the same time the head to which the voice 
belonged, with a pen behind its ear, looked over the partition, and at 
Mr. Pickwick. 

It was a ragged head, the sandy hair of which, scrupulously parted 
on one side, and flattened down with pomatum, was twisted into little 
serai-circular tails round a flat face ornamented with a pair of small eyes, 
and garnished with a very dirty shirt-collar, and a rusty black stock. 

" Mr. Dodson ain't at home, and Mr. Fogg's particularly engaged," 
said the man to whom the head belonged. 

** When will Mr. Dodson be back, sir?" inquired Mr. Pickwick 

" Can't say." 

** Will it be long before Mr. Fogg is disengaged, sir ? " 

" Don't know." 

Here the man proceeded to mend his pen with great deliberation, 
while another clerk, who was mixing a Seidlitz powder, under cover of 
the lid of his desk, laughed approvingly. 

♦< I think I'll wait," said Mr. Pickwick. There was no reply ; so 
Mr. Pickwick sat down unbidden, and listened to the loud ticking of the 
clock and the murmured conversation of the clerks. 

*' That was a game, wasn't it?" said one of the gentlemen, in a 
brown coat and brass buttons, inky drabs, and bluchers, at the conclusion 
of some inaudible relation of his previous evening's adventures. 

" Devilish good — devilish good," said the Seidlitz-powder man. 

" Tom Cummins was in the chair," said the man with the brown coat ; 
'* It was half-past four when I got to Somers Town, and then I was so 
precious drunk, that I couldn't find the place where the latch-key went 
in, and was obliged to knock up the old 'ooman. I say, I wonder 
what old Fogg 'ud say, if he knew it. I should get the sack, I 
s'pose — eh ? " 

At this humorous notion, all the clerks laughed in concert. 

" There was such a game with Fogg here, this mornin*,'' said the man 
in the brown coat, " while Jack was up stairs sorting the papers, and 
you two were gone to the stamp-office. Fogg was down here opening 
the letters, when that chap as we issued the writ against at Camberwell, 
you know, came in — what's his name again ?" 

" Ramsey," said the clerk who had spoken to Mr. Pickwick. 

" Ah, Ramsey — a precious seedy-looking customer. * Well, sir,* 
says old Fogg, looking at him very fierce — you know his way — * well, 
sir, have you come to settle?' * Yes, I have, Sir,' said Ramsey, put- 
ting his hand in his pocket, and bringing out the money, ' the debt's 
two pound ten, and the costs three pourki five, and h^re it is, Sir;' and 
he sighed like bricks, as he lugged out the money, done up in a bit of 
blotting-paper. Old Fogg looked first at the money, and then at him, 
and then he coughed in his rum way, so that I knew something was 
coming, * You don't know there's a declaration filed, which increases 
the costs materially, I suppose?' said Fogg. ' You don't say that, Sir,' 


said Ramsey, starting back ; * the time was only out, last night. Sir.' 
' I do say it, though,' said Fogg, < my clerk's just gone to tile it. 
Hasn't Mr. Jackson gone to file that declaration in Bullman and 
Ramsey, Mr. Wicks ? ' Of course I said yes, and then Fogg coughed 
again, and looked at Ramsey. * My God!' said Ramsey; * and here 
have I nearly driven myself mad, scraping this money together, and all 
to no purpose.' ' None at all,' said Fogg, coolly ; * so you had better 
go back and scrape some more together, and bring it here in time.* 
' I can't get it, by God,' said Ramsey, striking the desk with his fist. 

• Don't bully me. Sir,' said Fogg, getting into a passion on purpose. 

• I am not bullying you. Sir,' said Ramsey. * You are,' said Fogg ; 

• get out. Sir ; get out of this office. Sir, and come back. Sir, when you 
know how to behave yourself.' Well, Ramsey tried to speak, but Fogg 
wouldn't let him, so he put the money in his pocket, and sneaked out. 
The door was scarcely shut, when old Fogg turned round to me, with a 
sweet smile on his face, and drew the declaration out of his coat pocket. 
' Here, Wicks,' says Fogg, ' take a cab, and go down to the Temple 
as quick as you can, and file that. The cosfs are quite safe, for he's a 
steady man with a large family, at a salary of five-and-twenty shillings 
a week, and if he gives us a warrant of attorney, as he must in the end, 
1 know his employers will see it paid ; so we may as well get all we can 
out of him, Mr. Wicks ; it's a Christian act to do it, Mr. Wicks, for 
with his large family and small income, he'll be all the better for a good 
lesson against getting into debt, — won't he, Mr. Wicks, won't he ?' — 
and he smiled so goodnaturedly as he went away, that it was delightful 
to see him. He is a capital man of business," said Wicks^ in a tone of 
the deepest admiration, '' capital, isn't he ? " 

The other three cordially subscribed to this opinion, and the anecdote 
afforded the most unlimited satisfaction. 

" Nice men these here, Sir," whispered Mr. Weller to his master ; 
'* wery nice notion of fun they has. Sir." 

Mr. Pickwick nodded assent, and coughed to attract the attention of 
the young gentlemen behind the partition, who, having now relaxed 
their minds by a little conversation among themselves, condescended to 
taket some notice of the stranger. 

*' I wonder whether Fogg's disengaged now?" said Jackson. 

" I'll see," said W^icks, dismounting leisurely from his stool. '* What 
name shall I tell Mr. Fogg ? " 

" Pickwick," replied the illustrious subject of these memoirs. 

Mr. Jackson departed up stairs on his errand, and immediately re- 
turned with a message that Mr. Fogg would see Mr. Pickwick in five 
minutes ; and having delivered it, returned ag^in to his desk. 

" What did he say his name was ? " whispered Wicks. 

" Pickwick," replied ,Tackson ; " it's the defendant in Bardell and 

A sudden scraping of feet, mingled with the sound of suppressed 
laughter, was heard from behind the partition. 
, " They're a twiggin' you, Sir," whispered Mr. Weller. 

" Twigging me, Sam ! " replied Mr. Pickwick ; " what do you mean 
by twigging me?" 



i' : \ 


• ! i 

/Jo^e <?^/ 


Mr. Weller replied by pointing with his thumb over his shoulder 
and Mr. Pickwick, on looking up, became sensible of the pleasing fact, 
that all the four clerks, with countenances expressive of the utmost 
amusement, and their heads thrust over the wooden screen, were 
minutely inspecting the figure and general appearance of the supposed 
trifler with female hearts, and disturber of female happiness. On his 
looking up, the row of heads suddenly disappeared, and the sound of 
pens travelling at a furious rate over paper, immediately succeeded. 

A sudden ring at the bell which hung in the oflBce, summoned Mr. 
Jackson to the apartment of Fogg, from whence he came back to say 
that he (Fogg) was ready to see Mr. Pickwick if he would step up 

Up stairs Mr. Pickwick did step accordingly, leaving Sam Weller 
below. The room door of the one-pair back, bore inscribed in legible 
characters the imposing words ''Mr. Fogg;" and, having tapped 
thereat, and been desired to come in, Jackson ushered Mr. Pickwick 
into the presence. 

" Is Mr. Dodson in ? " inquired Mr. Fogg. 

" Just come in, Sir," replied Jackson. 

" Ask him to step here." 

" Yes, Sir." Exit Jackson. 

*' Take a seat, sir," said Fogg ; " there is the paper? Sir : my partner 
will be here directly, and we can converse about this matter, Sir." 

Mr. Pickwick took a seat and the paper, but, instead of reading the 
latter, peeped over the top of it, and took a survey of the man of 
business, who was an elderly pimply-faced, vegetable-diet sort of man, 
in a black coat, dark mixture trousers, and small black gaiters ; a kind 
of being who seemed to be an essential part of the desk at which he was 
writing, and to have about as much thought or feeling. 

After a few minutes' silence, Mr. Dodson, a plump, portly, stern- 
looking man, with a loud voice, appeared : and the conversation com- 

" This is Mr. Pickwick," said Fogg. 

" Ah ! You are the defendant. Sir, in Bardell and Pickwick ? " said 

" I am. Sir," replied Mr. Pickwick. 

" Well, Sir," said Dodson, "and what do you propose?" 

"Ahl** said Fogg, thrusting his hands into his trousers' pockets, 
and throwing himself back in his chair, " what do you propose, Mr. 

" Hush, Fogg," said Dodson, " let me hear what Mr. Pickwick has 
to say." 

" I came, gentlemen," replied Mr. Pickwick, — gazing placidly on 
the two partners, — " I came here, gentlemen, to express the surprise 
with which I received your letter of the other day, and to inquire what 
grounds of action you can have against me." 

" Grounds of" — Fogg had ejaculated thus much, when he was stopped 
by Dodson. 

" Mr. Fogg," said Dodson, " I am going to speak." 


.^* I beg your pardon, Mr. Dodson," said Fogg*. j. :tr .,t/'.., 
^^'For the grounds of action, Sir," continued Dodsorv, with moral 
elevation in his air, " you will consult your own conscience and your 
own feelings. We, Sir, we, are guided entirely by the statement of. our 
client. That statement, Sir, may be true, or it may be false ; it may 
be credible, or it may be incredible ; but, if it be true, and if it be 
credible, I do not hesitate to say. Sir, that our grounds of action, Sir, 
are strong, and not to be shaken. You may be an unfortunate man. 
Sir, or you may be a designing one ; but if I were called upon as a 
juryman upon my oath. Sir, to express an opinion of your conduct. Sir, 
I do not hesitate to assert that I should have but one opinion about it." 
Here Dodson drew himself up, with an air of offended virtue, and looked 
at Fogg, who thrust his hands further in his pockets, and, nodding his 
head sagely, said, in a tone of the fullest concurrence, " Most certainly." 

" Well, Sir," said Mr. Pickwick, with considerable pain depicted in 
his countenance, " you will permit me to assure you, that I am a most 
unfortunate man, so far as this case is concerned." 

*' I hope you are, Sir," replied Dodson ; " I trust you may be, Sir. 
If you are really innocent of what is laid to your charge, you are more 
unfortunate than I had believed any man could possibly be. What do 
you say, Mr. Fogg?" 

" I say precisely what you say," replied Fogg, with a smile of in- 

" The writ. Sir, which commences the action," continued Dodson, 
♦< was issued regularly. Mr. Fogg, where is iheprcBclpe book?" 

♦< Here it is," said Fogg, handing over a square book, with a parch- 
ment cover. 

" Here is the entry," resumed Dodson. " ' Middlesex, Capias ilf/ar^^a 
Bardell, widow^ v. Samuel Pickwick, Damages, JB1500. Dodson 
and Fogg for the plaintiff, Aug. 28 ,1830.' All regular, Sir ; perfectly." 
And Dodson coughed and looked at Fogg, who said " Perfectly," also. 
And then they both looked at Mr. Pickwick, 

" I am to understand, then," said Mr, Pickwick, '* that it really is 
your intention to proceed with this action ? " 

" Understand, Sir ! — that you certainly may," replied Dodson, with 
something as near a smile as his importance would allow. 

*' And that the damages are actually laid at fifteen hundred pounds?" 
said Mr. Pickwick. 

" To which understanding you may add my assurance, that if we 
could have prevailed upon our client, they would have been laid at treble 
the amount. Sir :" replied Dodson. 

" I believe Mrs. Bardell specially said, however," observed Fogg, 
glancing at Dodson, " that she would not compromise for a farthing- 

" Unquestionably," replied Dodson, sternly. For the action was 
only just begun ; and it wouldn't have done to let Mr. Pickwick com- 
)>romise it then, even if he had been so disposed. 

'* As you offer no terms, Sir," said Dodson, displaying a slip of 
parchment in his right hand, and affectionately pressing a paper copy 



of it, on Mr. Pickwick with his left, *' I had better serve you with a copy 
of tbfs writ. Sir. Here is the original, Sir." 

** Very well, gentlemen, very well," said Mr. Pickwick, rising in 
person and wrath at the same time ; " you shall hear from my solicitor, 

*« We shall be very happy to do so," said Fogg, rubbing his hands. 

♦' Very," said Dodson, opening the door. 

** And before I go, gentlemen," said the excited Mr. Pickwick, turn- 
ing round on the landing, " permit me to say, that of all the disgraceful 
and rascally proceedings — " 

" Stay, Sir, stay," interposed Dodson, with great politeness. " Mr. 
Jackson — Mr. Wicks." 

" Sir," said the two clerks, appearing at the bottom of the stairs. 

" I just want you to hear what this gentleman says," replied Dod- 
son. " Pray, go on. Sir — disgraceful and rascally proceedings, I think 
you said." 

" I did," said Mr. Pickwick, thoroughly roused. " I said, Sir, that 
of all the disgraceful and rascally proceedings that ever were attempted, 
this is the most so. I repeat it, Sir." 

" You hear that, Mr. Wicks ? " said Dodson. 

" You won't forget these expressions, Mr. Jackson ? " said Fogg. 

" Perhaps you would like to call us swindlers, Sir," said Dodson. 
" Pray do. Sir, if you feel disposed — now pray do, Sir." 

" I do," said Mr. Pickwick. " You are swindlers." 

" Very good," said Dodson. " You can hear down there, I hope, 
Mr. Wicks." 

'^ Oh yes. Sir," said Wricks. 

" You had better come up a step or two higher, if you can't,** added 
Mr. Fogg. 

" Go on, Sir ; do go on. You had better call us thieves, Sir ; or 
perhaps you would like to assault one of us. Pray do it. Sir, if you 
would ; we will not make the smallest resistance. Pray do it. Sir." 

As Fogg put himself very temptingly within the reach of Mr. Pick- 
wick's clenched fist, there is little doubt that that gentleman would have 
complied with his earnest entreaty, but for the interposition of Sam, 
who, hearing the dispute, emerged from the office, mounted the stairs, 
and seized his master by the arm. 

" You just come avay," said Mr. Weller. " Battledore and shuttle- 
cock's a wery good game, vhen you an't the shuttlecock and two lawyers 
the battledores, in vich case it get's too excitin' to be pleasant. Come 
avay. Sir. If you want to ease your mind by blowing up somebody, 
come out into the court and blowup me ; but it's rayther too expensive 
work to be carried on here." 

And without the slightest ceremony, Mr. Weller hauled his master 
down the stairs, and down the court, and having safely deposited him 
in Cornhill, fell behind, prepared to follow whithersoever he should 

Mr. Pickwick walked on abstractedly, crossed opposite the Mansion 
House, and bent his steps up Cheapside. Sam began to wonder where 
lliey were going, when his master turned round, and said — 


" Sam, I will go immediately to Mr. Perkefs/* 

" That's just exactly the wery place vere you ought to haye gone last 
night," replied Mr. Weller. 

" I think it is, Sam," said Mr. Pickwick. 

" I know it is," said Mr. Weller. 

" Well, well, Sam," replied Mr. Pickwick, " we will go there at once, 
but first, as I have been rather ruffled, I should like a glass of brandy 
and water warm, Sam. Where can I have it, Sam?*' 

Mr. Weller's knowledge of London was extensive and peculiar. He 
replied, without the slightest consideration — 

<^ Second court on the right hand side — last house but vun on the 
same side the vay — take the box as stands in the first fire-place, 'cos 
there an't no leg in the middle o' the table, vhich all the others has, and 
its wery inconwenient." 

Mr. Pickwick observed his valet's directions implicitly, and bidding 
Sam follow him, entered the tavern he had pointed out, where the hot 
brandy and water was speedily placed before him ; while Mr. Weller, 
seated at a respectful distance, though at the same table with his master, 
was accommodated with a pint of porter. 

The room was one of a very homely description, and was apparently 
under the especial patronage of stage coachmen : for several gentlemen, 
who had all the appearance of belonging to that learned profession, were 
drinking and smoking in the different boxes. Among the number was 
one stout, red-faced, elderly man in particular, seated in an opposite box, 
who attracted Mr. Pickwick's attention. The stout man was smoking 
with great vehemence, but between every half-dozen puffs, he took his 
pipe from his mouth, and looked first at Mr. Weller and then at Mr. 
Pickwick. Then he would bury in a quart pot, as much of his counte- 
nance as the dimensions of the quart-pot admitted of its receiving, and 
take another look at Sam and Mr. Pickwick. Then he would take ano- 
ther half-dozen puffs with an air of profound meditation, and look at 
them again. And at last the stout man, putting up his legs on the 
seat, and leaning his back against the wall, began to puff at his pipe 
without leaving off at all, and to stare through the smoke at the new 
comers, as if he had made up his mind to see the most he could of them. 

At first the evolutions of the stout man had escaped Mr. Weller's 
observation, but by degrees as he saw Mr. Pickwick's eyes every now 
and then turning towards him, he began to gaze in the same direction, 
at the same time shading his eyes with his hand, as if he partially 
recognised the object before him, and wished to make quite sure of, its 
identity. Kis doubts were speedily dispelled, however ; for the stout 
man having blown a thick cloud from his pipe, a hoarse voice, like some 
strange effort of ventriloquism, emerged from beneath the capacious 
shawls which muffled his throat and chest, and slowly uttered these 
sounds — '< Vy, Sammy." 

" Who's that, Sam ? " inquired Mr. Pickwick. 

" Why, I wouldn't ha' believed it, Sir," replied Mr. Weller, with 
astonished eyes. " It's the old 'un." 

" Old one," said Mr. Pickwick. " What old one ? " 


I" My father, Sir," replied Mr. Weller. " How are you, my ancient?" 
And with this beautiful ebullition of filial affection, Mr. Weller, made 
room on the seat beside him, for the stout man, who advanced pipe in 
mouth and pot in hand, to greet him. 

" Vy, Sammy," said the father, " I han't seen you, for two years aftd 

" Nor more you have, old codger," replied the son. " How*s mother 
in law ? " 

*' Vy, I'll tell you what, Sammy," said Mr. Weller, senior, withmuch, 
solemnity in his manner; " there never was a nicer woman as a widder; 
than that 'ere second wentur o' mine — a sweet cretur she was, Sammy 
and all I can say on her now, is, that as she was such an uncommon 
pleasant widder, it's a great pity she ever changed her condition. She 
don't act as a vife, Sammy." 

" Don't she, though ? " inquired Mr. W^eller junior. 

The elder Mr. Weller shook his head, as he replied with a sigh, " IVe 
done it once too often, Sammy ; I've done it once too often. Take 
example by your father, my boy, and be wery careful o' widders all your 
life, specially if they've kept a public house, Sammy ;" and having 
delivered this parental advice with great pathos, Mr. Weller senior 
re-filled his pipe irom a tin box he carried in his pocket : and, lighting 
his fresh pipe from the ashes of the old one, commenced smoking at a 
great rate. 

" Beg your pardon. Sir," he said, renewing the subject, and addressing 
Mr. Pickwick, after a considerable pause, " nothin' personal, I hope. 
Sir ; I hope you han't got a widder, Sir." 

" Not 1," replied Mr. Pickwick, laughing ; and while Mr. Pickwick 
laughed, Sam Weller informed his parent in a whisper, of the relation 
in which he stood towards that gentleman. 

" Beg your pardon, Sir," said Mr. Weller, senior, taking off his' 
hat, " I hope you've no fault to find with Sammy, Sir." 

" None whatever," said Mr. Pickwick. 

" Wery glad to hear it, Sir," replied the old man ; " I took a good 
deal o' pains with his eddication. Sir; let him run in the streets when 
he was wery young, and shift for his-self. It's the only way to make 
a boy sharp, Sir." 

" Rather a dangerous process, I should imagine," said Mr. Pickwick^ 
with a smile. 

" And not a wery sure one, neither," added Mr. Weller ; " I got 
reglarly done the other day." 

" No ! " said the father. 

'' I did," said the son ; and he proceeded to relate in as few words 
as possible, how he had fallen a ready dupe to the stratagems of Job 

Mr. Weller senior listened to the tale with the most profound 
attention, and, at its termination, said — 

'' Worn't one o* these chaps slim and tall, with long hair, and the 
gift o' the gab wery gallopin' ?" 

I Mr. Pickwick did not quite understand the last item of description, 
but, comprehending the first, said " Yes," at a venture. 


" 'J"otber'6 a black-haired chap in mulberry livery, with a vvery'large 

" Yes, yes, he is," said Mr. Pickwick and Sam, with great earnest- 

" Then I know where they are, and that's all about it," said lyir 
Weiler; " they're at Ipswich, safe enough, them two." • ^j^uu . 

* " No ! " said Mr. Pickwick. 

" Fact," said Mr. Weiler, " and I'll tell you how I know it. I 
work an Ipswich coach now and then for a friend o' mine. I worked 
down the wery day arter the night as you caught the rheumatiz, and at 
the Black Boy at Chelmsford — the wery place they'd come to — I took 
'em up, right through to Ipswich, where the man servant — him in the 
mulberries — told me they was a goin' to put up for a long time." 

" I'll follow him," said Mr. Pickwick ; " we may as well see Ipswich 
as any other place. I'll follow him." 

" You're quite certain it was them, governor ? " inquired Mr. Weiler, 

*• Quite, Sammy, quite," replied his father, " for their appearance is 
wery sing'ler ; besides that 'ere, I wondered to see the gen'lm'n so 
familiar with his servant ; and, more than that, as they sat in front, 
right behind the box, I heard 'em laughing, and saying how they'd done 
old Fireworks." 

"Old who?" said Mr. Pickwick. 

*' Old Fireworks, Sir, by which, I've no doubt, they meant you. Sir." 

There is nothing positively vile or atrocious in the appellation of 
" old Fireworks," but still it is by no means a respectful or flattering 
designation. The recollection of all the wrongs he had sustained at 
Jingle's hands, had crowded on Mr. Pickwick's mind, the moment Mr. 
Weiler began to speak : it wanted but a feather to turn the scale, and 
*' old Fireworks" did it. 

*' I'll follow him," said Mr. Pickwick, with an emphatic blow on the 

*' I shall work down to Ipswich the day arter to-morrow, Sir," said 
Mr. Weiler the elder, " from the Bull in Whitechapel ; and if you really 
mean to go, you'd better go with me." 

" So we had," said Mr. Pickwick ; " very true ; I can write to Bury, 
and tell them to meet me at Ipswich. We will go with you. But don't 
hurry away, Mr. Weiler; won't you take anything?" 

" You're wery good. Sir," replied Mr. W., stopping short — " perhaps 
a small glass of brandy to drink your health, and success to Sammy, 
Sir, wouldn't be amiss." 

" Certainly not," replied Mr. Pickwick. '* A glass of brandy here." 

The brandy was brought : and Mr. Weiler, after pulling his hair to 
Mr. Pickwick, and nodding to Sam, jerked it down his capacious throat 
as if it had been a small thimble-full. 

" Well done, father," said Sam, <* take care, old fellow, or you'll! 
have a touch of^ your old complaint, the gout." 

*' I've found a sov'rin' cure for that, Sammy," replied Mr. Weiler,' 
setting down the glass. 


"^^sovereign cure for the gout," said Mr. Pickwick, hastily pro- 
arfcing his note-book, " what is it?" 

*' The gout, Sir," replied Mr. Weller, *' the gout is a complaint as 
arises from too much ease and comfort. If ever you're attacked with 
the gout. Sir, jist you marry a widder as has got a good loud woice, with 
a decent notion of usin' it, and you'll never have the gout agin. It's 
a capital prescription, Sir. I takes it reg'lar, and I can warrant it 
to drive away any illness as is caused by too much jollity." Having 
imparted this valuable secret, Mr. Weller drained his glass once more, 
produced a laboured wink, sighed deeply, and slowly retired. 

" Well, what do you think of what your father says, Sam ? " inquired 
Mr. Pickwick, with a smile. 

" Think, Sir I" replied Mr. Weller; *< why, I think he's the wictim 
o* connubiality, as Blue Beard's domestic chaplain said, with a tear of 
pity, ven he buried him." 

There was no replying to this very apposite conclusion, and, there- 
fore, Mr. Pickwick, after settling the reckoning, resumed his walk to 
Gray's Inn. By the time he reached its secluded groves, however, 
eight o'clock had struck, and the unbroken stream of gentlemen in 
muddy high-lows, soiled white hats, and rusty apparel, who were 
pouring towards the different avenues of egress, warned him that the 
majority of the offices had closed for that day. 

After climbing two pairs of steep and dirty stairs, he found his 
anticipations were realised. Mr. Perker's " outer door" was closed ; 
and the dead silence which followed Mr. Weller's repeated kicks 
thereat, announced that the officials had retired from business for the 

" This is pleasant, Sam," said Mr. Pickwick ; " I shouldn't lose an 
hour in seeing him ; I shall not be able to get one wink of sleep to- 
night, I know, unless I have the satisfaction of reflecting that I have 
confided this matter to a professional man." 

" Here's an old *ooman comin' up stairs. Sir," replied Mr. Weller ; 
" p'raps she knows where we can find somebody. Hallo, old lady, vere's 
Mr. Perker's people?" 

" Mr. Perker's people," said a thin, miserable-looking old woman, 
stopping to recover breath after the ascent of the staircase, *' Mr. 
Perker's people's gone, and I'm a goin' to do the office out." 

*' Are you Mr. Perker's servant?" inquired Mr. Pickwick. 

" I am Mr. Perker's laundress," replied the old woman. 

" Ah," said Mr. Pickwick, half aside to Sam, " it's a curious circum- 
stance, Sam, that they call the old women in these inns, laundresses. I 
wonder what's that for." 

" 'Cos they has a mortal awersion to washing anythin', I suppose, 
Sir," replied Mr. Weller. 

" I shouldn't wonder," said Mr. Pickwick, looking at the old woman, 
whose appearance as well as the condition of the office, which she had 
by this time opened, indicated a rooted antipathy to the application of 
soap and water ** do you know wher<» I can find Mr. Perker, my good 
woman ? " 



" No I don't," replied the old woman, gruffly ; " he's out o' town 


" That's unfortunate," said Mr. Pickwick ; « where's his clerk — do 

you know ? " 

" Yes I know where he is, but he wouldn't thank me for teUing 
you," replied the laundress. 

« I have very particular business with him," said Mr. Pickwick. 

« Won't it do in the morning?" said the woman. 

« Not so well," replied Mr. Pickwick. 

" Well," said the old woman, " if it was anything very particular, 
I was to say where he was, so I suppose there's no harm in telling. If 
you just go to the Magpie and Stump, and ask at the bar for Mr. 
Lowten, they'll show you in to him, and he's Mr. Perker's clerk." 

With this direction, and having been furthermore informed that the 
hostelry in question was situated in a court, happy in the double advan- 
tage of being in the vicinity of Clare Market, and closely approximating 
to the back of New Inn, Mr. Pickwick and Sara descended the ricketty 
staircase in safety, and issued forth in quest of the Magpie and Stump. 

This favoured tavern, sacred to the evening orgies of Mr. Lowten and 
his companions, was what ordinary people would designate a public- 
house. That the landlord was a man of a money-making turn, was 
sufficiently testified by the fact of a small bulk-head beneath the tap- 
room window, in size and shape not unlike a sedan-chair, being underlet 
to a mender of shoes : and that he was a being of a philanthropic mind, 
was evident from the protection afforded to a pie-man, who vended his 
delicacies without fear of interruption, on the very door-step. In the 
lower windows, which were decorated with curtains of a saffron hue, 
dangled two or three printed cards, bearing reference to Devonshire 
cyder and Dantzic spruce, while a large black board, announcing in 
white letters to an enlightened public, that there were 500,000 barrels 
of double stout in the cellars of the establishment, left the mind in a 
state of not unpleasing doubt and uncertainty, as to the precise direction 
in the bowels of the earth, in which this mighty cavern might be sup- 
posed to extend. When we add, that the weather-beaten sign-board 
bore the half-obliterated semblance of a magpie intently eyeing a crooked 
streak of brown paint, which the neighbours had been taught from 
infancy to consider as the ''stump," we have said all that need be 
said, of the exterior of the edifice. 

On Mr. Pickwick's presenting himself at the bar, an elderly female 
emerged from behind a screen therein, and presented herself before him. 
"Is Mr. Lowten here. Ma'am?" inquired Mr. Pickwick. 
« Yes he is, Sir," replied the landlady. " Here, Charley, show the 
gentleman in, to Mr. Lowten." 

" The gen'lm'n can't go in, just now, " said a shambling pot-boy, with 
a red head, " 'cos Mr. Lowten's a singin' a comic song, and he'll put 
him out. He'll be done d'rectly. Sir." 

The red-headed pot-boy had scarcely finished speaking, when a most 
itnanimous hammering of tables, and jingling of glasses, announced that 
the song had that instant terminated ; and Mr. Pickwick, after desiring 


Sam to solace himself in the tap, suffered himself to be conducted into 
the presence of Mr. Lowten. 

At the announcement of" ag-entleman to speak to you, Sir," a puffy- 
faced young man who filled the chair at the head of the table, looked 
with some surprise in the direction from whence the voice proceeded : 
and the surprise seemed to be by no means diminished, when his eyes 
rested on an individual whom he had never seen before. 

*' I beg" your pardon, Sir," said Mr. Pickwick, " and I am very sorry 
to disturb the other gentlemen, too, but I come on very particular busi- 
ness ; and if you will suffer me to detain you at this end of the room 
for five minutes, I shall be very much obliged to you." 

The puffy-faced young man rose, and drawing a chair close to Mr. 
Pickwick in an obscure corner of the room, listened attentively to his 
tale of woe. 

" Ah," he said, when Mr. Pickwick had concluded, " Dodson and 
Fogg — sharp practice their's — capital men of business is Dodson and 
Fogg, Sir." 

Mr. Pickwick admitted the sharp practice of Dodson and Fogg, and 
Lowten resumed. 

" Perker ain't in town, and he won't be neither, before the end of 
next week ; but if you want the action defended, and will leave the 
copy with me, I can do all that's needful 'till he comes back." 

'* That's exactly what I came here for," said Mr. Pickwick, handing 
over the document. " If any thing particular occurs, you can write to 
me at the post-office, Ipswich." 

" That's all right," replied Mr. Perker's clerk; and then seeing Mr. 
Pickwick's eye wandering curiously towards the table, he added, '* Will 
you join us, for half-an-hour or so ? We are capital company here to- 
night. There's Samkin and Green's managing-clerk, and Smithers 
and Price's chancery, and Pimkin and Thomas's out o' door — sings a 
capital song, he does — and Jack Bamber, and ever so many more. You're 
come out of the country, I suppose. Would you like to join us?" 

Mr. Pickwick could not resist so tempting an opportunity of study- 
ing human nature. He suffered himself to be led to the table, where, 
after having been introduced to the company in due form, he was accom- 
modated with a seat near the chairman, and called for a glass of his 
favourite beverage. 

A profound silence, quite contrary to Mr. Pickwick's expectation, 

" You don't find this sort of thing disagreeable, I hope. Sir ? " said 
his right hand neighbour, a gentleman in a checked shirt and Mobaie 
studs, with a cigar in his mouth. 

" Not in the least," replied Mr. Pickwick, " I like it very much, 
although I am no smoker myself." 

" I should be very sorry to say I wasn't," interposed another gentle- 
men on the opposite side of the table. " It's board and lodging to me, 
is smoke." 

Mr. Pickwick glanced at the speaker, and thought that if it were 
washing too, it would be all the better. 

i>10 POSTHUMOUS papers of 

Here there was another pause. Mr. Pickwick was a stranger, and 
his coming- had evidently cast a damp upon the party. 

" Mr. Grundy's going- to oblige the company with a song," said the 

" No he ain't," said Mr. Grundy. 

<i Why not ? " said the chairman. 

" Because I can't," said Mr. Grundy. 

" You had better say you won't," replied the chairman. 

" Well, vhen, I won't," retorted Mr. Grundy. Mr. Grundy's positive 
refusal to gratify the company, occasioned another silence. 

" Won't anybody enliven us ?" said the chairman, despondingly. 

" Why don't you enliven us yourself, Mr. Chairman ?" said a young 
man with a whisker, a squint, and an open shirt collar (dirty) from the 
bottom of the table. 

" Hear! hear!" said the smoking gentleman, in the Mosaic 

" Because I only know one song, and I have sung it already, and it's 
a fine of ' glasses round' to sing the same song twice in a night," 
replied the chairman. 

This was an unanswerable reply, and silence prevailed again. 

" I have been to-night, gentlemen," said Mr. Pickwick, hoping to 
start a subject which all the company could take part in discussing, " I 
have been to-night in a place which you all know very well, doubtless, 
but which I have not been in before, for some years, and know very 
little of; I mean Gray's Inn, gentlemen. Curious little nooks in a 
great place, like London, these old inns are." 

'*' By Jove," said the chairman, whispering across the table to Mr.* 
Pickwick, " you have hit upon something that one of us, at least, 
would talk upon for ever. You'll draw old Jack Bamber out ; he was 
never heard to talk about anything else but the Inns, and he has lived 
alone in them, till he's half crazy." 

The individual to whom Lowten alluded, was a little yellow high- 
shouldered man, whose countenance, from his habit of stooping forward 
when silent, Mr. Pickwick had not observed before. He wondered 
though, when the old man raised his shrivelled face, and bent his bright 
grey eye upon him, with a keen inquiring look, that such remarkable 
features could have escaped his attention for a moment. There was a 
fixed grim smile perpetually on his countenance ; he leant his chin on 
a long skinny hand, with nails of extraordinary length ; and as he 
incHned his head to one side, and looked keenly out from beneath his 
ragged grey eyebrows, there was a strange, wild slyness in his leer, 
quite repulsive to behold. 

This was the figure that now started forward, and burst into an 
animated torrent of words. As this chapter has been a long one how- 
ever, and as the old man was a remarkable personage, it will be more 
respectful to him, and more convenient to us, to let him speak for 
himself in a fresh one. 




" Aha !" said the old man, a brief description of whose manner and 
appearance concluded the last chapter, " Aha ! who was talking about 
the Inns?" 

" I was, Sir," replied Mr. Pickwick — " I was observing what sin- 
gular old places they are." 

" You!" said the old man, contemptuously — ^' What do i/oti know 
of the time when young men shut themselves up in those lonely rooms, 
and read and read, hour after hour, and night after night, till their 
reason wandered beneath their midnight studies ; till their mental 
powers were exhausted ; till morning's light brought no freshness or 
health to them ; and they sank beneath the unnatural devotion of their 
youthful energies to their dry old books? Coming down to a later 
time, and a very different day, what do ^om know of the gradual sinking 
beneath consumption, or the quick wasting of fever — the grand results 
of *life' and dissipation — which men have undergone in those same 
rooms ? How many vain pleaders for mercy, do you think have turned 
away heart-sick from the lawyer's office, to find a resting-place in the 
Thames, or a refuge in the gaol ? They are no ordinary houses, those. 
There is not a pannel in the old wainscotting, but what, if it were 
endowed with the powers of speech and memory, could start from the 
wall, and tell its tale of horror — the romance of life. Sir, the romance 
of life. Common-place as they may seem now, I tell you they are 
strange old places, and I would rather hear many a legend with a terrific- 
sounding name, than the true history of one old set of chambers." 

There was something so odd in the old man's sudden energy, ana 
the subject which had called it forth, that Mr. Pickwick was prepared 
with no observation in reply; and the old man checking his impetuosity, 
and resuming the leer, which had disappeared during his previous excite- 
ment, said — 

"Look at them in another light : their most common-place and least 
romantic: what fine places of slow torture they are. "J'hink of the 
needy man who has spent his all, beggared himself, and pinched his 
friends, to enter the profession, which is destined never to yield a morsel 
of bread to him. The waiting — the hope — the disappointment— the 
fear— the misery — the poverty — the blight on his hopes, and end to his 
career — the suicide perhaps, or, better still, the shabby, slip-shod 
drunkard. Am I not right about them, eh?" And the old man 
rubbed his hands, and leered as if in delight at having found another 
point of view in which to place his favourite subject. 

Mr. Pickwick eyed the old man with great curiosity, and the 
remainder of the company smiled, and looked on in silence. 



" Talk of your German universities," said the little old man ^ 

" Pooh, pooh ! there's romance enough at home, without going half a 
mile for it ; only people never think of it." 

" I never thought of the romance of this particular subject before, 
certainly," said Mr. Pickwick, laughing. 

" To be sure you didn't," said the little old man, " of course not. 
As a friend of mine used to say to me, ' What is there in chambers, in 
particular ? ' * Queer old places,' said I. ' Not at all,' said he. * Lonely,' 
said I. * Not a bit of it,' said he. He died one morning of apoplexy, 
as he was going to open his outer door. Fell with his head in his own 
letter-box, and there he lay for eighteen months. Every body thought 
he'd gone out of town." 

" And how was he found at last?" inquired Mr. Pickwick. 

" The benchers determined to break his door open, as he hadn't paid 
any rent for two years. So they did. Forced the lock ; and a very 
dusty skeleton in a blue coat, black knee-shorts, and silks, fell forward 
in the arms of the porter who opened the door. Queer, that. Rather, 
perhaps; rather, eh ?" And the little old man put his head more on 
one side, and rubbed his hands with unspeakable glee. 

" I know another case," said the little old man, when his chuckles 
nad in some degree subsided — " It occurred in Clifford's Inn. Tenant 
of a top set^ — bad character — shut himself up in his bed-room closet, 
and took a dose of arsenic. The steward thought he had run away . 
opened the door, and put a bill up. Another man came, took the 
chambers, furnished them, and went to live there. Somehow or other 
he couldn't sleep — always restless and uncomfortable. * Odd,' says he. 
* I'll make the other room my bed-chamber, and this my sitting-room.' 
He made the change, and slept very well at night, but suddenly found 
that somehow he couldn't read in the evening: he got nervous and 
Uncomfortable, and used to be always snuffing his candles and staring 
about him. ' I can't make this out,' said he, when he came home 
from the play one night, and was drinking a glass of cold grog, with 
his back to the wall, in order that he mightn't be able to fancy there 
was any one behind him — * I can't make it out,' said he ; and just then 
his eyes rested on the little closet that had been always locked up, and 
a -shudder ran through his whole frame from top to toe. * I have felt 
this strange feeling before,' said he — ' I cannot help thinking there's 
something wrong about that closet.' He made a strong effort, plucked 
up his courage, shivered the lock with a blow or two of the poker, 
opened the door, and there, sure enough, standing bolt upright in the 
earner, was the last tenant, with a little bottle clasped firmly in his 
hand, and his face livid with the hue of a painful death." As the little 
old man concluded, he looked round on the attentive faces of his won- 
dering auditory with a smile of grim delight. 

" What strange things these are you tell us of, Sir," said Mr. Pick- 
wick, minutely scanning the old man's countenance, by the aid of his 

** Strange I" said the little old man — " Nonsense ; you think them 
strange, because you know nothing about it. They are funny, but not 



«< Funny I" exclaimed Mr. Pickwick, involuntarily. 

"Yes, funny, are they not?" replied the little old man, with u 
diabolical leer; and then, without pausing for an answer, he continued — 

" I knew another man — let me see — it's forty years ago now — who 
took an old, damp, rotten set of chambers, in one of the most ancient 
Inns, that had been shut up and empty for years and years before. 
There were lots of old women's stories about the place, and it certainly 
was very far from being a cheerful one ; but he was poor, and the 
rooms were cheap, and that would have been quite a sufficient reason 
for him, if they had been ten times worse than they really were. He 
was obliged to take some mouldering fixtures that were on the place, 
and, among the rest, was a great lumbering wooden press for papers, 
with large glass doors, and a green curtain inside; a pretty useless thing 
for him, for he had no papers to put in it ; and as to his clothes, he 
carried them about with him, and that wasn't very hard work, either. 
Well, he had moved in all his furniture — it wasn't quite a truck-full— 
and sprinkled it about the room, so as to make the four chairs look as 
much like a dozen as possible, and was sitting down before the fire at 
night, drinking the first glass of two gallons of whiskey he had ordered 
on credit, wondering whether it would ever be paid for, and if so, in how 
many years' time, when his eyes encountered the glass doors of the 
wooden press. * Ah I' says he — * If I hadn't been obliged to take that 
ugly article at the old broker's valuation, I might have got something 
comfortable for the money. I'll tell you what it is, old fellow,* he said, 
speaking aloud to the press, just because he had got nothing else to 
speak to — * If it wouldn't cost more to break up your old carcase, than 
it would ever be worth afterwards, I'd have a fire out of you, in less than 
no time.' He had hardly spoken the words, when a sound resembling 
a faint groan, appeared to issue from the interior of the case. It startled 
him at first, but thinking, on a moment's reflection, that 't must be 
some young fellow in the next chambers, who had been dining out, he 
put his feet on the fender, and raised the poker to stir the fire. At 
that moment, the sound was repeated : and one of the glass doors slowly 
opening, disclosed a pale and emaciated figure in soiled and worn apparel, 
standing erect in the press. The figure was tall and thir, and the 
countenance expressive of care and anxiety ; but there was something 
in th^ hue of the skin, and gaunt and unearthly appearance of the 
whole form, which no being of this world was ever seen to wear. * Who 
are you ? ' said the new tenant, turning very pale^ poising the poker in 
his hand, however, and taking a very decent aim at the countenance of 
the figure — ' Who are you?' * Don't throw that poker at me,* replied 
the form — ' If you hurled it with ever so sure an aim, it would pass 
through me, without resistance, and expend its force on the wood behind. 
I am a spirit.* * And, pray, what do you want here ? ' faltered the 
tenant. ' In this room,* replied the apparition, * my worldly ruin was 
worked, and I f>nd my children beggared. In this press, the papers in 
a long, long suit, which accumulated for years, were deposited. In this 
loom, when I had died of griof, and long-deferred hope, two wily harpiea 



divided the wealth for which I had contested during a wretched 
existence, and of which, at last, not one farthing was left for my unhappy 
descendants. I terrified them from the spot, and since that day have 
prowled by night — the only period at which I can re- visit the earth — about 
the scenes of my long-protracted misery* This apartment is minei 
leave it to me.' * If you insist upon making your appearance here/ ^ 
said the tenant, who had had time to collect his presence of mind during 
this prosy statement of the ghost's — < I shall give up possession with 
the greatest pleasure ; but I should like to ask you one question, if you 
will allow me.' * Say on,' said the apparition, sternly. « Well,' said 
the tenant^ ' I don't apply the observation personally to you, because it 
is equally applicable to all the ghosts I ever heard of; but it does 
appear to me, somewhat inconsistent, that when you have an opportunity 
of visiting the fairest spots of earth — for I suppose space is nothing to 
you — you should always return exactly to the very places where you 
have been most miserable.' * Egad, that's very true; I never thought 
of that before,' said the ghost. * You see, Sir,* pursued the tenant, 
' this is a very uncomfortable room. From the appearance of that press, 
I should be disposed to say that it is not wholly free from bugs ; and I 
really think you might find much more comfortable quarters : to say 
nothing of the climate of London^ which is extremely disagreeable.' 
* You are very right, Sir,' said the ghost, politely, * it never struck me 
till now; I'll try change of air directly' — and, in fact, he began to vanish 
as he spoke : his legs, indeed, had quite disappeared. * And if, Sir,* 
said the tenant, calling after him, * if you would have the goodness to 
suggest to the other ladies and gentlemen who are now engaged in 
haunting old empty houses, that they might be much more comfortable 
elsewhere, you will confer a very great benefit on society.' * I will,* 
replied the ghost; 'we must be dull fellows^ — very dull fellows, indeed ; 
I can't imagine how we can have been so stupid.' With these words, 
the spirit disappeared ; and what is rather remarkable," added the old 
man, with a shrewd look round the table, " he never came back again." 

" That ain't bad, if it's true," said the man in th& Mosaic studs, 
lighting a fresh cigar. 

*<7f/" exclaimed the old man, with a look of excessive contempt. 
" I suppose," he added, turning to Lowten, " he'll say next, that my 
story about the queer client we had, when I was in an attorney's office, 
is not true, either — I shouldn't wonder." 

" I shan't venture to say anything at all about it, seeing that I never 
heard the story," observed the owner of the Mosaic decorations. 

" I wish you would repeat it. Sir," said Mr. Pickwick. 

" Ah, do,*' said Lowten, " nobody has heard it but me, and I have 
nearly forgotten it." 

The old man looked round the table, and leered more horribly than 
ever, as if in triumph, at the attention which was depicted in every face. 
Then rubbing his chin with his hand, and looking up to the ceiling as 
if to recal the circumstances to his memory, he began as follows : — 




" It matters little," said the old man, " where, or how, I picked up 
this brief history. If I were to relate it in the order in which it reached 
me, I should commence in the middle, and when I had arrived at the 
conclusion, go back for a beginning. It is enough for me to say that 
some of its circumstances passed before my own eyes ; for the remain- 
der I know them to have happened, and there are some persons yet 
living, who will remember them but too well. 

" In the Borough High Street, near Saint George's Church, and 
on the same side of the way, stands, as most people know, the smallest 
of our debtors' prisons — the Marshalsea, Although in later times it 
has been a very different place from the sink of filth and dirt it once 
was, even its improved condition holds out but little temptation to the 
extravagant or consolation to the improvident. The condemned felon 
has as good a yard for air and exercise in Newgate, as the insolvent 
debtor in the Marshalsea Prison. 

" It may be my fancy, or it may be that I cannot separate the place 
firom the old recollections associated with it, but this part of London 
I cannot bear. The street is broad, the shops are spacious, the noise 
of passing vehicles, the footsteps of a perpetual stream of people — all 
the busy sounds of traffic, resound in it from morn to midnight, but the 
streets around, are mean and close ; poverty and debauchery lie fester- 
ing in the crowded alleys, want and misfortune are pent up in the 
narrow prison ; an air of gloom and dreariness seems, in my eyes at 
least, to hang about the scene, and to impart to it, a squalid and sickly 

" Many eyes, that have long since been closed in the grave, have 
looked round upon that scene lightly enough, when entering the gate of 
the old Marshalsea Prison for the first time : for despair seldom comes 
with the first severe shock of misfortune. A man has confidence in un- 
tried friends, he remembers the many offers of service so freely made by 
his boon companions when he wanted them not ; he has hope — the hope 
of happy inexperience — and however he may bend beneath the first 
fihock, it springs up in his bosom, and flourishes there for a brief space, 
until it droops beneath the blight of disappointment and neglect. 
How soon have those same eyes, deeply sunken in the head, glared from 
faces wasted with famine, and sallow from confinement, in days when 
it was no figure of speech to say that debtors rotted in prison, with no 
hope of release, and no prospect of liberty ! The atrocity in its fiill 
extent no longer exists, but there is enough of it left, to give rise to 
occurrences that make the heart bleed. 

" Twenty years ago, that pavement was worn with the footsteps of 
a mother and child, who, day by day, so surely as the morning came, 
presented themselves at the prison gate ; often after a night of restless 
misery and anxious thoughts, were they there, a full hour too soon, 
and then the young mother turning meekly away, would lead the child 
to the old bridge, and raising him in her arms to shew him the glisten- 
ing water, tinted with the light of the morning's sun, and stirring with 


all the bustling preparations for business and pleasure that the river 
presents at that early hour, endeavour to interest his thoughts in the 
objects before him. But she would quickly set him down, and hiding 
her face in her shawl, give vent to the tears that blinded her, for no 
expression of interest or amusement lighted up his thin and sickly face. 
His recollections were few enough, but they were all of one kind — all 
connected with the poverty and misery of his parents. Hour after 
hour, had he sat on his mother's knee, and with childish sympathy 
watched the tears that stole down her face, and then crept quietly away 
into some dark corner, and sobbed himself to sleep. The hard realities 
of the world, with many of its worst privations — hunger and thirst, and 
cold and want — had all come home to him, from the first dawnings of 
reason ; and though the form of childhood was there, its light heart, its 
merry laugh, and sparkling eyes were wanting. 

" The father and mother looked on upon this, and upon each other, 
with thoughts of agony they dared not breathe in words. The healthy, 
strong-made man, who could have borne almost any fatigue of active 
exertion, was wasting beneath the close confinement and unhealthy 
atmosphere of a crowded prison. The slight and delicate woman was 
sinking beneath the combined effects of bodily and mental illness ; the 
child's young heart was breaking. 

'' Winter came, and with it weeks of cold and heavy rain. The 
poor girl had removed to a wretched apartment close to the spot of her 
husband's imprisonment ; and though the change had been rendered 
necessary by their increasing poverty, she was happier now, for she 
was nearer him. For two months, she and her little companion watched 
the opening of the gate as usual. One day she failed to come, for the 
first time. Another morning arrived, and she came alone. The child 
was dead. 

" They little know, who coldly talk of the poor man's bereavements, 
as a happy release from pain to the departed, and a merciful relief from 
expense to the survivor — they little know, I say, what the agony of 
those bereavements is. A silent look of affection and regard when all 
other eyes are turned coldly away — the consciousness that we possess 
the sympathy and afi"ection of one being when all others have deserted 
us— is a hold, a stay, a comfort in the deepest affliction, which no 
wealth could purchase, or power bestow. The child had sat at his 
parents' feet for hours together, with his little hands patiently folded 
in each other, and his thin wan face raised towards them. They had 
seen him pine away, from day to day ; and though his brief existence 
had been a joyless one, and he was now removed to that peace and rest 
which, child as he was, he had never known in this world, they were 
his parents, and his loss sunk deep into their souls. 

*' It was plain to those who looked upon the mother's altered face 
that death must soon close the scene of her adversity and trial. Her 
husband's fellow prisoners shrunk from obtruding on his grief and misery, 
and left to himself alone, the small room he had previously occupied in 
common with two companions. She shared it with him : and lingering 
oil without pain, but without hope, her life ebbed slowly away. 


" She had fainted one evening in her husband's arms, and he had 
borne her to the open window, to revive her with the air, when the 
light of the moon falling full upon her face, shewed him a change upon 
her features, which made him stagger beneath her weight, like a helpless 

*' * Set me down George,' she said faintly. He did so, and seating 
himself beside her, covered his face with his hands, and burst into tears. 

" * It is very hard to leave you George,* she said, * but it's God's 
will, and you must bear it for my sake. Oh ! how I thank him for 
having taken our boy. He is happy, and in heaven now. What 
would he have done here, without his mother ! ' 

" * You shall not die, Mary, you shall not die ;' said the husband, 
starting up. He paced hurriedly to and fro, striking his head with his 
clenched fists ; then reseating himself beside her, and supporting her in 
his arms, added more calmly, ' Rouse yourself, my dear girl — pray, 
pray do. You will revive yet.' 

"* Never again George; never again' — said the dying woman. 
* Let them lay me by my poor boy now, but promise me, that if ever 
you leave this dreadful place, and should grow rich, you will have us 
removed to some quiet country churchyard, a long, long way off — very 
far from here, where we can rest in peace. Dear George, promise me 
you will.' 

" ' I do, I do* — said the man, throwing himself passionately on his 
knees before her. ' Speak to me Mary, another word ; one look — but 
one — ' 

" He ceased to speak : for the arm that clasped his neck, grew stiff 
and heavy. A deep sigh escaped from the wasted form before him ; 
the lips moved, and a smile played upon the face, but the lips were 
pallid, and the smile faded into a rigid and ghastly stare. He was alone 
in the world. 

" That night, in the silence and desolation of his miserable room, the 
wretched man knelt down by the dead body of his wife, and called on 
God to witness a dreadful oath, that from that hour, he devoted himself 
to revenge her death and that of his child ; that from thenceforth to 
the last moment of his life, his whole energies should be directed to 
this one object; that his revenge should be protracted and terrible; 
that his hatred should be undying and unextinguishable ; and should 
hunt its object through the world. 

" The deepest despair, and passion scarcely human, had made such 
fierce ravages on his face and form, in that one night, that his compa- 
nions in misfortune shrunk affrighted from him as he passed by. His 
eyes were bloodshot and heavy, his face a deadly white, and his body 
bent as if with age. He had bitten his under lip nearly through 
in the violence of his mental suffering, and the blood which had flowed 
from the wound had trickled down his chin, and stained his shirt and 
neckerchief. No tear, or sound of complaint escaped him; but the 
unsettled look, and disordered haste with which he paced up and down 
the yard, denoted the fever which was burning within. 

" It was necessary that his wife's body should be removed from the 


prison, without delay. He received the communication with perfect 
calmness, and acquiesced in its propriety. Nearly all the inmates of the 
prison had assembled to witness its removal ; they fell back on either side 
when the widower appeared ; he walked hurriedly forward, and sta- 
tioned himself, alone, in a little railed area close to the lodge gate, from 
whence the crowd, with an instinctive feeling of delicacy, had retired. 
The rude coffin was borne slowly forward on men's shoulders. A 
dead silence pervaded the throng, broken only by the audible lament- 
ations of the women, and the shuffling steps of the bearers on the 
stone pavement. They reached the spot where the bereaved husband 
stood : and stopped. He laid his hand upon the coffin, and mechani- 
cally adjusting the pall with which it was covered, motioned them 
onwards. The turnkeys in the prison lobby took oif their hats as it 
passed through, and in another moment the heavy gate closed behind it. 
He looked vacantly upon the crowd, and fell heavily to the ground. 

" Although for many weeks after this, he was watched night and 
day, in the wildest ravings of fever, neither the consciousness of his 
loss, nor the recollection of the vow he had made, ever left him for a 
moment. Scenes changed before his eyes, place succeeded place, and 
event followed event, in all the hurry of delirium ; but they were all 
connected in some way with the great object of his mind. He was 
sailing over a boundless expanse of sea, with a blood-red sky above, 
and the angry waters lashed into fury beneath, boiling and eddying up, 
on every side. There was another vessel before them, toiling and 
labouring in the howling storm ; her canvass fluttering in ribbons from 
the mast, and her deck thronged with figures who were lashed to the 
sides, over which huge waves every instant burst, sweeping away some 
devoted creatures into the foaming sea. Onward they bore, amidst the 
roaring mass of water, with a speed and force which nothing could 
resist ; and striking the stern of the foremost vessel, crushed her, beneath 
their keel. From the huge whirlpool which the sinking wreck occa- 
sioned, arose a, shriek so loud and shrill — the death-cry of a hundred 
drowning wretches, blended into one fierce yell — that it rung far above 
the war-cry of the elements, and echoed, and re-echoed till it seemed 
to pierce air, sky, and ocean. But what was that — that old grey-head 
that rose above the water's surface, and with looks of agony, and screams 
for aid, buffeted with the waves ! One look, and he had sprung from the 
vessel's side, and with vigorous strokes was swimming towards it. He 
reached it; he was close upon it. They were his features. The old 
man saw him coming, and vainly strove to elude his grasp. But he 
clasped him tight, and dragged him beneath the water. Down, down 
with him, fifty fathoms deep ; his struggles grew fainter and fainter, 
until they wholly ceased. He was dead ; he had killed him, and had 
kept his oath. 

" He was traversing the scorching sands of a mighty desert, bare- 
footed and alone. The sand choked and blinded him ; its fine thin 
grains entered the very pores of his skin, and irritated him almost to 
madness. Gigantic masses of the same material, carried forward by the 
wind, and shone through, by the burning sun, stalked in the distance like 


pillars of living fire. The bones of men, who had perished in the 
dreary waste, lay scattered at his feet ; a fearful light fell on everything 
around ; and so far as the eye could reach, nothing but objects of dread 
and horror presented themselves. Vainly striving to utter a cry of 
terror, with his tongue cleaving to his mouth, he rushed madly forward. 
Armed with supernatural strength, he waded through the sand, until 
exhausted with fatigue and thirst, he fell senseless on the earth. What 
fragrant coolness revived him ; what gushing sound was that ? Water I 
It was indeed a well ; and the clear fresh stream was running at his 
fieet. He drank deeply of it, and throwing his aching limbs upon the 
bank, sunk into a delicious trance. The sound of approaching foot- 
steps roused him. An old grey-headed man tottered forward to slake 
his burning thirst. It was he again. He wound his arms round the 
old man's body, and held him back. He struggled in powerful con- 
vulsions, and shrieked for water — for but one drop of water to save his 
life. But he held the old man firmly, and watched his agonies with 
greedy eyes ; and when his lifeless head fell forward on his bosom, he 
rolled the corpse from him with his feet. 

" When the fever left him, and consciousness returned, he awoke to 
find himself rich and free : to hear that the parent who would have let 
him die in gaol — would ! who had let those who were far dearer to him 
than his own existence, die of want and the sickness of heart that me^ 
*ilicine cannot cure — had been found, dead in his bed of down. He had all 
the heart to leave his son a beggar, but proud even of his health and 
strength, he had put off the act till it was too late, and now might 
gnash his teeth in the other world, at the thought of the wealth his 
remissness had left him. He woke to this, and he woke to more. To 
recollect the purpose for which he lived, and to remember that his enemy 
was his wife s own father — the man who had cast him into prison, and 
who, when his daughter and her child sued at his feet for mercy, had 
spurned them from his door. Oh, how he cursed the weakness that 
prevented him from being up, and active, in his scheme of vengeance I 

" He caused himself to be carried from the scene of his loss and misery, 
and conveyed to a quiet residence on the sea coast — not in the hope of 
recovering his peace of mind or happiness, for both were fled for ever; 
but to restore his prostrate energies, and meditate on his darling object. 
And here, some evil spirit cast in his way the opportunity for his 
first, most horrible revenge. 

" It was summer time; and wrapped in his gloomy thoughts, he 
would issue from his solitary lodgings early in the evening, and wan- 
dering along a narrow path beneath the cliffs to a wild and lonely spot 
that had struck his fancy in his ramblings, seat himself on some fallen 
fragments of the rock, and burying his face in his hands, remain there 
for hours — sometimes until night had completely closed in, and the 
long shadows of the frowning cliffs above his head, cast a thick black 
darkness on every object near him. 

" He was seated here, one calm evening in his old position, now and 
then raising his head, to watch the flight of a seagull, or carry his eye 
along the glorious crimson path, which commencing in the middle of 
the ocean, seemed to lead to its very verge where the sun was setting 


when the profound stillness of the spot was broken by a loud cry for 
help ; he listened, doubtful of his having* heard aright, when tlie cry 
was repeated with even greater vehemence than before, and, starting to 
his feet, he hastened in the direction from whence it proceeded. 

" The tale told itself at once : some scattered garments lay on the 
beach ; a human head was just visible above the waves at a little 
distance from the shore ; and an old man, wringing his hands in agony, 
was running to and fro, shrieking for assistance. The invalid, whose 
strength was now sufficiently restored, threw off his coat, and rushed 
towards the sea, with the intention of plunging in, and dragging the 
drowning man a-shore. 

'• * Hasten here, Sir, in God's name ; help, help. Sir, for the love of 
Heaven. He is my son, Sir, my only son,' said the old man, fran- 
tically, as he advanced to meet him. ' My only son, Sir, and he is 
dying before his father's eyes.* 

" At the first word the old man uttered, the stranger checked him- 
self in his career, and, folding his arms, stood perfectly motionless. 

" ' Great God ! ' exclaimed the old man, recoiling—' Heyling I ' 

" The stranger smiled, and was silent. 

*' * Heyling ! ' said the old man, wildly — ' My boy, Heyling, my dear 
boy, look, look;' and, gasping for breath, the miser&,ble father pointed 
to the spot where the young man was struggling for life. 

" ' Hark ! ' said the old man — ' He cries once more. He is alive 
yet. Heyling, save him, save him.' 

" The stranger smiled again, and remained immovable as a statue. 

'' " I have wronged you,' shrieked the old man, falling on his knees, 
and clasping his hands together — * Be revenged ; take my all, my life ; 
cast me into the water at your feet, and, if human nature can repress a 
struggle, I will die, without stirring hand or foot. Do it, Heyling, do 
it, but save my boy, he is so young, Heyling, so young to die.' 

" < Listen,' said the stranger, grasping the old man fiercely by the 
wrist — ' I will have life for life, and here is one. My child died before 
his father's eyes, a far more agonising and painful death than that young 
slanderer of his sister's worth is meeting while I speak. You laughed — 
laughed in your daughter's face, where death had already set his hand — 
at our sufferings, then. What think you of them now ? See there, 
see there.' 

" As the stranger spoke, he pointed to the sea. A faint cry died 
away upon its surface : the last powerful struggle of the dying man 
agitated the rippling waves for a few seconds : and the spot where he 
had gone, down into his early grave, was undistinguishable from the 
surrounding water. 

" Three years had elapsed, when a gentleman alighted from a private 
carriage at the door of a London attorney, then well known to the 
public as a man of no great nicety in his professional dealings, and 
requested a private interview on business of importance. Although 
evidently not past the prime of life, his face was pale, haggard, and 
dejected ; and it did not require the acute perception of the man of 
business, to discern at a glance, that disease or suffering had done mere 


to work a change in his appearance, than the mere hand of time could 
have accomplished in twice the period of his whole life. 

" * I wish you to undertake some legal business for me/ said the 

*' The attorney bowed obsequiously, and glanced at a large packet 
which the gentleman carried in his hand. His visiter observed the 
look, and proceeded. 

" * It is no common business,' said he ; ' nor have these papers reached 
my hands without long trouble and great expense.* 

" The attorney cast a still more anxious look at the packet : and his 
visiter, untying the string that bound it, disclosed a quantity of promis- 
sory notes, with some copies of deeds, and other documents. 

" * Upon these papers,' said the client, ' the man whose name they 
bear, has raised, as you will see, large sums of money, for some years 
past. There was a tacit understanding between him and the men into 
whose hands they originally went — and from whom I have by degrees 
purchased the whole, for treble and quadruple their nominal value — that 
these loans should be from time to time renewed, until a given period 
had elapsed. Such an understanding is nowhere expressed. He has 
sustained many losses of late ; and these obligations accumulating upon 
him at once, would crush him to the earth.' 

" * The whole amount is some thousands of pounds,' said the attorney, 
looking over the papers. 

" * It is,' said the client. 

" * What are we to do ? ' inquired the man of business. 

" * Do I ' replied the client, with sudden vehemence — * Put every 
engine of the law in force, every trick that ingenuity can devise and 
rascality execute ; fair means and foul ; the open oppression of the law, 
aided by all the craft of its most ingenious practitioners. I would have 
him die a harassing and lingering death. Ruin him, seize and sell his 
lands and goods, drive him from house and home, and drag him forth a 
beggar in his old age, to die in a common gaol.' 

" ' But the costs, my dear Sir, the costs of all this,' reasoned the 
attorney, when he had recovered from his momentary surprise — * If the 
defendant be a man of straw, who is to pay the costs. Sir ? ' 

" ' Name any sum,' said the stranger, his hand trembling so violently 
with excitement, that he could scarcely hold the pen he seized as he 
spoke — 'Any sum, and it is yours. Don't be afraid to name it, man. 
I shall not think it dear, if you gain my object.* 

" The attorney named a large sum, at hazard, as the advance he 
should require to secure himself against the possibility of loss ; but 
more with the view of ascertaining how far his client was really disposed 
to go, than with any idea that he would comply with the demand. The 
stranger wrote a cheque upon his banker, for the whole amount, and 
left him. 

" The draft was duly honoured, and the attorney, finding that his 
strange client might be safely relied upon, commenced his work in 
earnest. For more than two years afterwards, Mr. Heyling would sit 
whole days together, in the office, poring over the papers as they accu- 


mulated, and reading again and again, his eyes gleaming with joy, the 
letters of remonstrance, the prayers for a little delay, the representa- 
tions of the certain ruin in which the opposite party must be involved, 
which poured in, as suit after suit, and process after process, were com- 
menced. To all applications for a brief indulgence, there was but one 
reply — the money must be paid. Land, house, furniture, each in its 
turn, was taken under some one of the numerous executions which 
were issued ; and the old man himself would have been immured in 
prison had he not escaped the vigilance of the officers, and fled. 

" The implacable animosity of Heyling, so far from being satiated by 
the success of his persecution, increased a hundred-fold with the ruin 
he inflicted. On being informed of the old man's flight, his fury was 
unbounded. He gnashed his teeth with rage, tore the hair from his 
head, and assailed with horrid imprecations the men who had been 
entrusted with the writ. He was only restored to comparative calmness 
by repeated assurances of the certainty of discovering the fugitive. 
Agents were sent in quest of him, in all directions ; every stratagem 
that could be invented was resorted to, for the purpose of discovering 
his place of retreat ; but it was all in vain. Half a year had passed over, 
and he was still undiscovered. 

" At length, late one night, Heyling, of whom nothing had been seen 
for many weeks before, appeared at his attorney's private residence, and 
sent up word that a gentleman wished to see him instantly. Before 
the attorney, who had recognised his voice from above stairs, could order 
the servant to admit him, he had rushed up the staircase, and entered 
the drawing-room pale and breathless. Having closed the door, to pre- 
vent being overheard, he sunk into a chair, and said, in a low voice — 

" * Hush I I have found him at last.' 

" * No !' said the attorney-r-' Well done, my dear Sir; well done.* 

" * He lies concealed in a wretched lodging in Camden Town,' said 
Heyling — « Perhaps it is as well, we did lose sight of him, for he has 
been living alone there, in the most abject misery, all the time, and he 
is poor — very poor.* 

u i Very good,' said the attorney — * You will have the caption made 
to-morrow, of course ? ' 

" * Yes,' replied Heyling. * Stay ! No ! The next day. You are 
surprised at my wishing to postpone it,' he added, with a ghastly smile; 
'. but I had forgotten. The next day is an anniversary in his life : let 
it be done then.' 

u i Very good,' said the attorney — ' Will you write down instructions 
for the officer ? ' 

" * No ; let him meet me here, at eight in the evening, and I will 
accompany him myself.' 

" They met on the appointed night, and, hiring a hackney-coach, 
directed the driver to stop at that corner of the old Pancras road, at 
which stands the parish workhouse. By the time they alighted there, 
it was quite dark ; and, proceeding by the dead wall in front of the 
Veterinary Hospital, they entered a small bye street, which is, cr was 
at that time, called Little College Street, and which, whatever it may 






:c3^ z:^p~^f^ie. 



lie now, was in those days a desolate place enough, surrounded hy little 
else than fields and ditches. 

" Having drawn the travelling-cap he had on, half over his face, and 
muffled himself in his cloak, Heyling stopped before the meanest- 
looking house in the street, and knocked gently at the door. It was 
at once opened by a woman, who dropped a curtesy of recognition, and 
Heyling whispering the officer to remain below, crept gently up stairs, 
and, opening the door of the front room, entered at once. 

" The object of his search and his unrelenting animosity, now a 
decrepid old man, was seated at a bare deal table, on which stood a 
miserable candle. He started on the entrance of the stranger, and rose 
feebly to his feet. 

" ' What now, what now?' said the old man — * What fresh misery is 
this? What do you want here?' 

«< * A word with i/ou,' replied Heyling. As he spoke, he seated 
himself at the other end of the table, and, throwing off his cloak and 
cap, disclosed his features. 

" The old man seemed instantly deprived of the power of speech. 
He fell backward in his chair, and, clasping- his hands together, gazed 
on the apparition with a mingled look of abhorrence and fear. 

" * This day six years,' said Heyling, * I claimed the life you owed 
me for my child's. Beside the lifeless form of your daughter, old man, 
I swore to live a life of revenge. I have never swerved from my purpose 
for a moment's space ; but if I had, one thought of her uncomplaining, 
suffering look, as she drooped away, or of the starving face of our inno- 
cent child, would have nerved me to my task. My first act of requital 
you well remember : this is my last.' 

" The old man shivered, and his hands dropped powerless by his 

" * I leave England to-morrow,' said Heyling, after a moment's pause. 
— * To-night I consign you, to the living death to which you devoted 
her — a hopeless prison ' 

" He raised his eyes to the old man's countenance, and paused. He 
lifted the light to his face, set it gently down, and left the apartment. 

" ' Yon had better see to the old man,' he said to the woman, as he 
opened the door, and motioned the officer to follow him into the street 
— ' I think he is ill.' The woman closed the door, ran hastily up stairs, 
and found him lifeless. He had died in a fit. 

• •» »«#•««»•« 

" Beneath a plain grave-stone, in one of the most peaceful and 
secluded church-yards in Kent, where wild flowers mingle with the 
grass, and the soft landscape around, forms the fairest spot in the garden 
of England, lie the bones of the young mother and her gentle child. 
But the ashes of the father do not mingle with theirs ; nor from that 
night forward, did the attorney ever gain the remotest clue, to the sub- 
sequent history of his queer client." 

As the old man concluded his tale, he advanced to a peg in one 
comer, and taking down his hat and coat, put them on with grewt 



deliberation ; and, without saying" another word, walked slowly away. 
As the gentleman with the Mosaic studs had fallen asleep, and the 
major part of the company were deeply occupied in the humorous 
process of dropping* melted tallow-grease into his brandy and water, 
Mr. Pickwick departed unnoticed, and having settled his own score, and 
that of Mr. Weller, he issued forth, in company with that gentleman, 
from beneath the portal of the Magpie and Stump. 



•'That 'ere your governor's luggage, Sammy?'' inquired Mr. 
Weller senior, of his affectionate son, as he entered the yard of the 
Bull inn, Whitechapel, with a travelling bag and a small portmanteau. 

" You might ha' made a worser guess than that, old feller," repHed 
Mr. Weller the younger, setting down his burden in the yard, and 
sitting himself down upon it afterwards. *' The Governor hisself '11 
be down here presently." 

*' He's a cabbin' it, I suppose ?" said the father. 

" Yes, he's a havin' two mile o' danger at eight-pence," responded 
the son. " How's mother-in-law this mornin' ? " 

" Queer, Sammy, queer," replied the elder Mr. Weller, with im- 
pressive gravity. " She's been gettin' rayther in the Methodistical 
order lately, Sammy ; and she is uncommon pious, to be sure. She's 
too good a creetur for me, Sammy — I feel I don't deserve her." 

'' Ah," said Mr. Samuel, " that's wery self-denyin' o' you." 

'< Wery," replied his parent, with a sigh. ** She's got hold o' some 
inwention for grown-up people being born again, Sammy— the new 
birth, I thinks they calls it. I should wery much like to see that 
system in haction, Sammy. I should wery much like to see your 
mother-in-law born again. Wouldn't I put her out to nurse I" 

" What do you think them women does t'other day," continued Mr. 
Weller, after a short pause, during which he had significantly struck 
the side of his nose with his fore-finger, some half-dozen times. " What 
do you think they does, t'other day, Sammy ? " 

" Don't know," replied Sam, " what?" 

" Goes and gets up a grand tea drinkin* for a feller they calls their 
II shepherd," said Mr. Weller. " I was a standing starin* in, at the 

pictur shop down at our place, when I sees a little bill about it ; _, 
* tickets half-a-crown. All applications to be made to the committee, fj^ 
Secretary, Mrs. Weller;' and when I got home, there was the com- 
mittee a sittin' in our back parlour— fourteen women ; I wish you 
could ha' heard 'em Sammy. There they was, a passin' resolutions, ^ 
anQ wotin' supplies, and all sorts o' games. Well, what with your' 
mother-in-law a worrying me to go, and what with my looking for'ard! 


to seein' some queer starts if I did, I put my name down for a ticket ; 
at six o'clock on the Friday evenin' I dresses myself out, vvery smart, and 
off I goes vith the old 'ooman, and up we walks into a fust floor where 
there was tea things for thirty, and a whole lot o' women as begins 
whisperin' to one another, and lookin' at me, as if they'd never seen a 
rayther stout gen'lm'n of eight-and-fifty afore. By and bye, there comes 
a great bustle down stairs, and a lanky chap with a red nose and white 
neckcloth rushes up, and sings out, ' Here's the shepherd a coming to 
wisit his faithful flock ;' and in comes a fat chap in black, vith a great 
white face, a smilin' avay like clock-work. Such goin's on, Sammy. 

* The kiss of peace,' says the shepherd ; and then he kissed the women 
all round, and ven he'd done, the man vith the red nose began. 1 was 
just a thinkin' whether I hadn't better begin too — 'specially as there 
was a wery nice lady a sittin' next me — ven in comes the tea, and your 
mother-in-law, as had been makin* the kettle boil, down stairs. At it 
they went, tooth and nail. Such a precious loud hymn Sammy, 
while the tea was a brewing ; such a grace, such eatin' and drinkin'. I 
wish you could ha' seen the shepherd walkin' into the ham and muffins. 
I never see such a chap to eat and drink — never. The red-nosed man 
warn't by no means the sort of person you'd like to grub by contract, 
but he was nothin' to the shepherd. Well ; arter the tea was over, 
they sang another hymn, and then the shepherd began to preach : and 
wery well he did it, considerin' how heavy them muffins must have lied 
on his chest. Presently he pulls up, all of a sudden, and hollers out, 

* Where is the sinner; where is the mis'rable sinner ?' upon which, all the 
women looked at me, and began to groan as if they was dying. I thought 
it was rather sing'ler, but hows'ever, I says nothing. Presently he pulls 
up again, and lookin' wery hard at me, says, 'Where is the sinner; where 
is the mis'rable sinner I ' and all the women groans again, ten times 
louder than afore. I got rather savage at this, so I takes a step or two 
for'ard and says, * My friend,' says I, ' did you apply that e're obserwa- 
tion to me ?' — 'Stead of beggin' my pardon as any gen'lm'n would ha' 
done, he got more abusive than ever : called me a wessel, Sammy — a 
wessel of wrath — and all sorts o' names. So my blood being reg'iarly 
up, I first gave him two or three for himself, and then two or three 
more to hand over to the man with the red nose, and walked off. I 
wish you could ha' heard how the women screamed Sammy, ven they 

picked up the shepherd from under the table. Hallo ! here's the 

governor, the size of life.' " 

As Mr. Weller spoke, Mr. Pickwick dismounted from a cab, and en- 
tered the yard. 

" Fine mornin' Sir" — said Mr. Weller senior. 

" Beautiful indeed" — replied Mr. Pickwick. 

" Beautiful indeed," echoed a red-haired man with an inquisitive nose 
and blue spectacles, who had unpacked himself from a cab at the same 
moment as Mr. Pickwick. " Going to Ipswich, Sir ? " 

** I am," replied Mr. Pickwick. 

" Extraordinary coincidence. So am I." 

Mr. Pickwick bowed. 

'* Going outside ? " said the red-haired man. 



Mr. Pickwick ])Osved again. 

** Bless my soul, how remarkable — I am going outside, too," said the 
red-haired man : " we are positively going together." And the red- 
haired man, who was an important-looking, sharp-nosed, mysterious- 
spoken personage, with a bird-like habit of giving his head a jerk every 
time he said any thing, smiled as if he had made one of the strangest 
discoveries that ever fell to the lot of human wisdom. 

" I am happy in the prospect of your company. Sir," said Mr. 

" Ah," said the new-comer, " it's a good thing for both of us, isn't 
it ? Company, you see — company is — is — it's a very different thing 
from solitude — a'n't it ? " 

" There's no denyin' that 'ere," said Mr. Weller, joining in the con- ^ 
versation, with an affable smile. " That's what I call a self-evident 
proposition, as the dog's-meat man said, when the house-maid told him 
he warn't a gentleman." 

" Ah," said the red-haired man, surveying Mr. Weller from head to 
foot, with a supercilious look. " Friend of yours. Sir ? " 

'* Not exactly a friend," replied Mr. Pickwick, in a low tone. " The , 
fact is, he is my servant, but I allow him to take a good many liberties ; 
for, between ourselves, I flatter myself he is an original, and I am rather , 
proud of him." 

"• Ah," said the red-haired man, " that, you see, is a matter of taste. 
1 am not fond of anything original ; I don't like it ; don't see the neces- 
sity for it. What's your name. Sir ? " 

*^ Here is my card. Sir," replied Mr. Pickwick, much amused by the 
abruptness of the question, and the singular manner of the stranger. 

^' Ah," said the red-haired man, placing the card in his pocket-book, 
" Pickwick ; very good. I like to know a man's name, it saves so much 
trouble. That's ray card. Sir. Magnus, you will perceive. Sir — Mag- 
nus is my name. It's rather a good name, I think. Sir ? " 

'^ A very good name, indeed," said Mr. Pickwick, wholly unable to 
repress a smile. 

" Yes, I think it is," resumed Mr. Magnus. " There's a good name 
before it, too, you will observe. Permit me. Sir — if you hold the card 
a little slanting, this way, vou catch the light upon the up-stroke. 
There — Peter Magnus — sounds well, I think, Sir." 

" Very," said Mr. Pickwick. 

" Curious circumstance about those initials. Sir," said Mr. Magnus. 
*' You will observe — P. M. — post meridian. In hasty notes to intimate 
acquaintance, I sometimes sign myself ' Afternoon.' It amuses i»y ■ 
friends very much, Mr. Pickwick." f 

" It is calculated to afford them the highest gratification, I should 
conceive," said Mr. Pickwick, rather envying the ease with which Mr. 
Magnus's friends were entertained. 

'* Now, gen'lm'n," said the hostler, " coach is ready, if you 

" Is all my luggage in ? " inquired Mr. Magnus. 

« All right. Sir." 


" Is the red bag in ? " 

" All right, Sir." 

" And the striped hag ? " 

** Fore boot, Sir." 

** And the brown-paper parcel ?" 

" Under the seat, Sir." 

'* And the leather hat-box? " 

" They're all in, Sir." 

" Now, will you get up ?" said Mr. Pickwick. 

" Excuse me," replied Magnus, standing on the wheel. " Excuse 
me, Mr. Pickwick. I cannot consent to get up, in this state of uncer- 
tainty. I am quite satisfied from that man's manner, that that leather 
hat-box is not in." ' 

The solemn protestations of the hostler being wholly unavail- 
ing, the leather hat-box was obliged to be raked up from the lowest 
depth of the boot, to satisfy him that it had been safely packed ; and 
after he had been assured on this head, he felt a solemn presentiment, 
first, that the red bag was mislaid, and next that the striped bag had 
been stolen, and then that the brown paper parcel had " come untied.'' 
At length when he had received ocular demonstration of the groundless 
nature of each and every of these suspicions, he consented to climb up 
to the roof of the coach, observing that now he had taken every thing 
off his mind, he felt quite comfortable and happy. 

" You're given to nervousness, an't you. Sir? " inquired Mr. Weller 
senior, eying the stranger askance, as he mounted to his place. 

" Yes ; I always am rather, about these little matters," said the 
stranger, " but I am all right now — quite right." 

" Well, that's a blessin'," said Mr. Weller. " Sammy, help your 
master up to the box : t'other leg. Sir, that's it ; give us your hand, Sir. 
Up with you. You was a lighter weight when you was a boy. Sir." 

" True enough, that, Mr. Weller," said the breathless Mr. Pickwick, 
good-humouredly, as he took his seat on the box beside him. 

" Jump up in front, Sammy," said Mr. Weller. " Now Villam, 
run 'em out. Take care o' the archvay, gen'lm'n. * Heads/ as the 
pieman says. That'll do, Villam. Let 'em alone." And away went 
the coach up Whitechapel, to the admiration of the whole population of 
that pretty densely-populated quarter. 

" Not a wery nice neighbourhood this. Sir," said Sam, with the touch 
of the hat which always preceded his entering into conversation with 
his master. 

" It is not indeed, Sam," replied Mr. Pickwick, surveying the crowded 
and filthy street through which they were passing. 

" It's a wery remarkable circumstance. Sir," said Sam, " that poverty 
and oysters always seems to go together." 

" 1 don't understand you, Sam," said Mr. Pickwick. 

" What I mean. Sir," said Sam, " is, that the poorer a place is, the 
greater call there seems to be for oysters. Look here. Sir ; here's a 
oyster stall to every half dozen houses — the street's lined vith 'em 



228 rosTHUAfous papers of 

Blessed if I don't think that ven a man's wery poor, he rushes out of 
l)is lodgings, and eats oysters in reg'lar desperation." 

" To be sure he does," said Mr. Weller senior, " and it's just the 
same vith pickied salmon ! " 

" Those are two very remarkable facts, which never occurred to me 
before," said Mr. Pickwick. " The very first place we stop at, I'll 
make a note of them." 

By this time they had reached the turnpike at Mile End ; a profound 
silence prevailed, until they had got two or three miles further on, when 
Mr. Weller senior turning suddenly to Mr. Pickwick, said — 

*' Wery queer life is a pike-keeper's, Sir." 

*' A what ? " said Mr. Pickwick. 

" A pike-keeper." 

" What do you mean by a pike-keeper ? " inquired Mr. Peter 

" The old *un means a turnpike keeper, gen'lm'n," observed Mr. 
Weller, in explanation. 

" Oh," said Mr. Pickwick, " I see. Yes; very curious life. Very 

" They're all on *em, men as has met vith some disappointment in 
life," said Mr. Weller senior. 

" Ay, ay ? " said Mr. Pickwick. 

" Yes. Consequence of vich, they retires from the world, and shuts* 
themselves up in pikes ; partly vith the view of being solitary, and 
partly to rewenge themselves on mankind, by takin' tolls." 

*' Dear me,'* said Mr. Pickwick, " I never knew that before." 

" Fact, Sir," said Mr. Weller, " if they was gen'lm'n you'd call 'em 
misanthropes, but as it is they only takes to pike-keepin'." 

With such conversation, possessing the inestimable charm of blending 
amusement with instruction, did Mr. Weller beguile the tediousness of 
the journey, during the greater part of the day. Topics of conversation 
were never wanting, for even when any pause occurred in Mr. Weller's 
loquacity, it was abundantly supplied by the desire evinced by Mr. 
Magnus to make himself acquainted with the whole of the personal 
history of his fellow-travellers, and his loudly-expressed anxiety at every 
stage, respecting the safety and well-being of the two bags, the leather 
hat-box, and the brown paper parcel. 

In the main street of Ipswich, on the left-hand side of the way, a 
short distance after you have passed through the open space fronting 
the Town Hall, stands an inn known far and wide by the appellation of 
** The Great White Horse," rendered the more conspicuous by a stone 
statue of some rampacious animal with flowing mane and tail, distantly 
resembling an insane cart-horse, which is elevated above the principal 
door. The Great White Horse is famous in the neighbourhood, in the 
same degree as a prize ox, or county paper-chronicled turnip, or un- 
^vieldy pig — for its enormous size. Never were such labyrinths of 
uncarpeted passages, such clusters of mouldy, badly-lighted rooms, such 
Luge numbers of small dens for eating or sleeping in, beneath any one 


roof, as are collected together betwoen the four walls of the Great 
White Horse at Ipswich. 

It was at the door of this overgrown tavern, that the London coacli 
stopped, at the same hour every evening ; and it was from this same 
London coach, that Mr. Pickwick, Sam Weller, and Mr. Peter Magnus 
dismounted, on the particular evenings to which thischapterof our history- 
bears reference. 

" Do you stop here. Sir ? " inquired Mr. Peter Magnus, when the 
striped bag-, and the red bag, and the brown paper parcel, and the leather 
hat-box, had all been deposited in the passage. " Do you stop here, 
Sir? " 

" I do," said Mr. Pickwick. 

" Dear me," said Mr. Magnus, '' I never knew anything like these 
extraordinary coincidences. Why, I stop here, too. I hope we dine 
together ? " 

" With pleasure," replied Mr. Pickwick. " I am not quite certain 
whether I have any friends here or not, though. Is there ny gentle- 
man of the name of Tupman here, waiter ? " 

A corpulent man, with a fortnight's napkin under his arm, and coeval 
stockings on his legs, slowly desisted from his occupation of staring 
down the street, on this question being put to him by Mr. Pickwick ; 
and, after minutely inspecting that gentleman's appearance, from the 
crown of his hat to the lowest button of his gaiters, replied emphati- 
cally — 

" Nor any gentleman of the name of Snodgrass ? " inquired ivlr 
" No ! " 

«' Nor Winkle?" 
« No." 

" My friends have not arrived to-day. Sir," said Mr. Pickwick. *' We 
will dine alone, then. Shew us a private room, waiter." 

On this request being preferred, the corpulent man condescended to 
order the boots to bring in the gentlemen's luggage, and precedmg 
them down a long dark passage, ushered them into a large badly-fur- 
nished apartment, with a dirty grate, in which a small fire was making 
a wretched attempt to be cheerful, but was fast sinking beneath the 
dispiriting influence of the place. After the lapse of an hour, a bit of 
fish and a steak, were served up to the travellers, and when the dinner 
was cleared away, Mr. Pickwick and Mr. Peter Magnus drew their 
chairs up to the fire, and having ordered a bottle of the worst possible 
port wine, at the highest possible price, for the good of the house, drank 
brandy and water for their own. 

Mr. Peter Magnus was naturally of a very communicative disposition, 
and the brandy and water operated with wonderful effect in warming 
mto life the deepest hidden secrets of his bosom. After sundry accounts 
of himself, his family, his connexions, his friends, his jokes, his business, 
and his brothers (most talkative men have a great deal to say about 
their brothers), Mr. Peter Magnus took a blue view of Mr. Pickwick 

T 2 




through his coloured spectacles for several minutes, and then said, with 
an air of modesty — 

" And what do you think — what do you think, Mr. Pickwick — 1 
have come down here for ? " 

" Upon my word," said Mr. Pickwick, " it is wholly impossible for 
me to g-uess ; on business, perhaps." 

" Partly right. Sir," replied Mr. Peter Magnus, '^ but partly wrong, 
at the same time : try again, Mr. Pickwick." 

" Really," said Mr. Pickwick, " I must throw myself on your mercy, 
to tell me or not, as you may think best ; for I should never guess, if I 
were to try all night." 

" Why, then, he — he — he !" said Mr. Peter Magnus, with a bashful 
titter, " What should you think, Mr. Pickwick, if I had come down 
here, to make a proposal. Sir, eh ? He — he — he I '' 

" Think ! that you are very likely to succeed," replied Mr. Pickwick^ 
with one of his most beaming smiles. 

" Ah !" said Mr. Magnus, '* but do you really think so, Mr. Pickwick? 
Do you, though ?" 

•' Certainly," said Mr. Pickwick. 

" No ; but you're joking, though.'* 

" I am not, indeed." 

" Why, then," said Mr. Magnus, *' to let you into a little secret, / 
think so too. I don't mind telling you, Mr. Pickwick, although I'm 
dreadful jealous by nature — horrid — that the lady is in this house." 
Here Mr. Magnus took off his spectacles, on purpose to wink, and 
then put them on again. 

'^ That's what you were running out of the room for, before dinner, 
then, so often," said Mr. Pickwick, archly. 

" Hush — yes, you're right, that was it; not such a fool as to see 
her, though." 


" No; wouldn't do, you know, after having just come off a journey. 
Wait till to-morrow. Sir ; double the chance then. Mr. Pickwick, Sir, 
there is a suit of clothes in that bag, and a hat in that box, which I expect, 
in the effect they will produce, will be invaluable to me. Sir." 

" Indeed I" said Mr. Pickwick. 

" Yes; you must have observed my anxiety about them to-day. I 
do not believe that such another suit of clothes, and such a hat, could 
be bought for money, Mr. Pickwick." 

Mr. Pickwick congratulated the fortunate owner of the irresistible 
garments, on their acquisition ; and Mr. Peter Magnus remained for a 
few moments, apparently absorbed in contemplation. 

" She's a fine creature," said Mr. Magnus. 

" Is she ? " said Mr. Pickwick. 

" Very," said Mr. Magnus, " very. She lives about twenty miles 
from here, Mr. Pickwick. I heard she would be here to-night and all 
to-morrow forenoon, and came down to seize the opportunity. I think 
an inn is a good sort of place to propose to a single woman in, Mr. 
Pickwick. She is more likely to feel the loneliness of her situation 



ill triivelling, perliitps, than she would he at home. What do you think, 
Mr. Pickwick ? " 

" I think it very probable," replied that gentleman. 

♦' I beg: your pardon, Mr. Pickwick," said Mr. Peter Magnus, "but 
I am naturally rather curious ; what may you have come down here 

" On a far less pleasant errand, Sir," replied Mr. Pickwick, the 
colour mounting- to his face at the recollection — " I have come down 
here, Sir, to expose the treachery and falsehood of an individual, upon 
whose truth and honour I placed implicit reliance." 

" Dear me," said Mr. Peter Magnus, " that's very unpleasant. It 
is a lady, I presume ? Eh ? ah ! Sly, Mr. Pickwick, sly. Well, 
Mr. Pickwick, Sir, I wouldn't probe your feelings for the world. 
Painful subjects, these, Sir, very painful. Don't mind me, Mr. Pickwick, 
if you wish to give vent to your feelings. I know what it is to be jilted. 
Sir; I have endured that sort of thing three or four times." 

" 1 am much obliged to you, for your condolence on what you presume 
to be my melancholy case," said Mr. Pickwick, winding up his watch, 
and lying it on the table, " but — " 

" No, no," said Mr. Peter Magnus, " not a word more : it's a painful 
subject, I see, I see. What's the time, Mr. Pickwick?" 

•' Past twelve." 

" Dear me, it's time to go to bed. It will never do, sitting here, x 
shall be pale to-morrow, Mr, Pickwick." 

At the bare notion of such a calamity, Mr. Peter Magnus rang the 
bell for the chamber-maid ; and the striped bag, the red bag, the leather 
hat-box, and the brown-paper parcel, having been conveyed to his bed- 
room, he retired in company with a japanned candlestick, to one side of 
the house, while Mr. Pickwick, and another japanned candlestick, were 
conducted through a multitude of tortuous windings, to another. 

" This is your room. Sir," said the chamber-maid. 

" Very well," replied Mr. Pickwick, looking round him. It was a 
tolerably large double-bedded room, with a fire ; upon the whole, a more 
comfortable-looking apartment than Mr. Pickwick's short experience 
of the accommodations of the Great White Horse had led him to 

" Nobody sleeps in the other bed, of course," said Mr. Pickwick. 

" Oh no. Sir." 

" Very good. Tell my servant to bring me up some hot water at 
half-past eight in the morning, and that I shall not want him any more 

" Yes, Sir." And bidding Mr. Pickwick good night, the chamber- 
maid retired, and left him alone. 

Mr. Pickwick sat himself down in a chair before the fire, and fell 
into a train of rambling meditations. First he thought of his friends, 
and wondered when they would join him ; then his mind reverted to 
Mrs. Martha Bardell ; and from that lady it wandered, by a natural 
process, to the dingy counting-house of Dodson and Fogg. From 
Dodson and Fogg's it flew off at a tangent, to the very centre of the. 

232 rosTiiUiMOUs papehs of 

history of the queer client : and then it came back to the Great White 
Horse at Ipswich, with sufficient clearness to convince Mr. Pickwick 
that he was falling asleep : so he roused himself, and began to undress, 
when he recollected he had left his watch on the table down stairs. 

Now this watch was a special favourite with Mr. Pickwick, having 
been carried about, beneath the shadow of his waistcoat, for a greater 
number of years than we feel called upon to state, at present. The 
possibility of going to sleep, unless it were ticking gently beneath his 
pillow, or in the watch-pocket over his head, had never entered Mr. 
Pickwick's brain. So as it was pretty late now, and he was unwilling 
to ring his bell at that hour of the night, he slipped on his coat, of 
which he had just divested himself, and taking the japanned candlestick 
in his hand, walked quietly down stairs. 

The more stairs Mr. Pickwick went down, the more stairs there 
seemed to be to descend, and again and again, when Mr. Pickwick got 
into some narrow passage, and began to congratulate himself on having 
gained the ground-floor, did another flight of stairs appear before his 
astonished eyes. At last he reached a stone hall, which he remembered 
to have seen when he entered the house. Passage after passage did he- 
explore ; room after room did he peep into ; at length, just as he was 
on the point of giving up the search in despair, he opened the door of 
the identical room in which he had spent the evening, and beheld his 
missing property on the table. 

Mr. Pickwick seized the watch in triumph, and proceeded to re-trace 
his steps to his bed-chamber. If his progress downwards had been 
attended with difficulties and uncertainty, his journey back, was infinitely 
more perplexing. Rows of doors, garnished with boots of every shape, 
make, and size, branched off in every possible direction. A dozen times 
did he softly turn the handle of some bed-room door, which resembled 
his own, when agruif cry from within of " Who the devil's that?" or 
" What do you want here ? " caused him to steal away, on tiptoe, with a 
perfectly marvellous celerity. He was reduced to the verge of despair, 
when an open door attracted his attention. He peeped in — right at 
last. There were the two beds, whose situation he perfectly remembered, 
and the fire still burning. His candle, not a long one when he first 
received it, had flickered away in the drafts of air through which he 
had passed, and sunk into the socket, just as he closed the door after 
him. " No matter," said Mr. Pickwick, " I can undress myself just 
as well, by the light of the fire." 

The bedsteads stood, one on each side of the door ; and on the inner 
side of each, was a little path, terminating in a rush-bottomed chair, just 
wide enough to admit of a person's getting into, or out of bed, on that 
side, if he or she thought proper. Having carefully drawn the curtains 
of his bed on the outside, Mr. Pickwick sat down on the rush-bottomed 
chair, and leisurely divested himself of his shoes and gaiters. He then took 
off and folded up, his coat, waistcoat, and neck-cloth, and slowly drawing 
on his tasseled night-cap, secured it firmly on his head, by tying beneath 
his chin, the strings which he always had attached to that article of 
dress. It was at this moment that the absurdity of his recent bewilder- 


paa6 2-33. 



nient struck upon his mind ; and throwing himself back in the rush- 
bottomed chair, Mr. Pickwick laug-hed to himself so heartily, that it 
would have been quite delightful to any man of well -constituted mind 
to have watched the smiles which expanded his amiable features as they 
shone forth, from beneath the night-cap. 

" It is the best idea," said Mr. Pickwick to himself, smiling till he 
almost cracked the night-cap strings — " It is the best idea, my losing 
myself in this place, and wandering about those staircases, that I ever 
heard of. Droll, droll, very droll." Here Mr. Pickwick smiled again, 
a broader smile than before, and was about to continue the process of 
undressing, in the best possible humour, when he was suddenly stopped 
by a most unexpected interruption ; to wit, the entrance into the room 
of some person with a candle, who, after locking the door, advanced to 
the dressing table, and set down the light upon it. 

The smile that played on Mr. Pickwick's features, was instanta- 
neously lost in a look of the most unbounded and wonder-stricken sur- 
prise. The person, whoever it was, had come in so suddenly and with 
so little noise, that Mr. Pickwick had had no time to call out, or oppose 
their entrance. Who could it be ? A robber ? Some evil-minded 
person who had seen him come up stairs with a handsome watch in his 
hand, perhaps. What was he to do ! 

The only way in which Mr. Pickwick could catch a glimpse of his 
mysterious visiter with the least danger of being seen himself, was by 
creeping on to the bed, and peeping out from between the curtains 
on the opposite side. To this manoeuvre he accordingly reported. 
Keeping the curtains carefully closed with his hand, so that nothing 
more of him could be seen than his face and night-cap, and putting on 
his spectacles, he mustered up courage, and looked out. 

Mr. Pickwick almost fainted with horror and dismay. Standing before 
the dressing glass, was a middle-aged lady in yellow curl-papers, busily 
engaged in brushing what ladies call their " back hair." However 
the unconscious middle- aged lady came into that room, it was quite clear 
that she contemplated remaining there for the night ; for she had 
brought a rushlight and shade with her, which, with praiseworthy pre- 
caution against fire, she had stationed in a basin on the floor, where it 
was glimmering away, like a gigantic lighthouse, in a particularly small 
piece of water. 

" Bless my soul," thought Mr. Pickwick, *' what a dreadful thing ! " 

" Hem ! " said the lady ; and in went Mr. Pickwick's head with auto- 
maton-like rapidity. 

" I never met with anything so awful as this," — thought poor Mr. 
IMckwick, the cold perspiration starting in drops upor his nightcap. 
" Never. This is fearful." 

It was quite impossible to resist the urgent desire to see what was 
poing forward. So out went Mr. Pickwick's head again. The prospect 
was worse than before. The middle-aged lady had finished arranging 
her hair; had carefully enveloped it, in a muslin night-cap with a small 
jdaited border, and was gazing pensively on the fire. 

" This matter is growing alarming" — reasoned Mr. Pickwick with 
himself. " I can't allow things to go on in this way. By the self-pos- 

234 posriiuMous papers of 

session of that lady, it's clear to me that I must have come into the 
wrong room. If I call out, she'll alarm the house^ but if I remain here 
the consequences will be still more frightful." 

Mr. Pickwick, it is quite unnecessary to say, was one of the most 
modest and delicate-minded of mortals. The very idea of exhibiting 
his night-cap to a lady, overpowered him, but he had tied those con- 
founded strings in a knot, and do what he would, he couldn't get it oif. 
The disclosure must be made. There was only one other way of doing 
it. He shrunk behind the curtains, and called out very loudly — 

" Ha — bum." 

That the lady started at this unexpected sound was evident, by her 
falling up against the rushlight shade ; that she persuaded herself it 
must have been the effect of imagination was equally clear, for when 
Mr. Pickwick, under the impression that she had fainted away, stone- 
dead from fright, ventured to peep out again, she was gazing pensively 
on the fire as before. 

" Most extraordinary female this," thought Mr. Pickwick, popping 
in again. " Ha— hum/' 

These last sounds, so like those in which, as legends inform us, the 
ferocious giant Blunderbore was in the habit of expressing his opinion 
that it was time to lay the cloth, were too distinctly audible, to be again 
mistaken for the workings of fancy. 

" Gracious Heaven ! " said the middle-aged lady, " what's that I " 

" It's — it's — only a gentleman, Ma'am," said Mr. Pickwick from 
behind the curtains. 

" A gentleman I" said the lady with a terrific scream. 

" It's all over," thought Mr. Pickwick. 

" A strange man I" shrieked the lady. Another instant, and the 
house would be alarmed. Her garments rustled as she rushed towards 
the door. 

" Ma'am" — said Mr. Pickwick, thrusting out his head, in the extre- 
mity of his desperation, " Ma'am." 

Now although Mr. Pickwick was not actuated by any definite object 
in putting out his head, it was instantaneously productive of a good 
effect. The lady, as we have already stated, was near the door. She 
must pass it, to reach the staircase, and she would most undoubt- 
edly have done so, by this time, had not the sudden apparition of Mr. 
Pickwick's night-cap driven her back, into the remotest corner of the 
apartment, where she stood, staring wildly at Mr. Pickwick, while Mr. 
Pickwick in his turn, stared wildly at her. 

" Wretch," — said the lady, covering her eyes with her hands, " what 
do you want here?" 

" Nothing, Ma'am — nothing whatever, Ma'am ;" said Mr. Pickwick 

" Nothing !" said the lady, looking up. 

" Nothing, Ma'am, upon my honour," said Mr. Pickwick, nodding 
his head so energetically, that the tassel of his night-cap danced again. 
" I am almost ready to sink. Ma'am, beneath the confusion of addressing 
a lady in my night-cap (here the lady hastily snatched off her's), but I 
can't get it off. Ma'am (here Mr. Pickwick gave it a tremendous tug, 



ill proof of the statement). It is evident to me Mit'am now, that I 
have mistaken this bed-room for my own. I had not been here five 
minutes Ma'am, when you suddenly entered it." 

" If this improbable story be really true Sir" — said the lady, sobbing 
violently, " you will leave it instantly." 

'' I will Ma'am with the greatest pleasure" — replied Mr. Pickwick. 

" Instantly, Sir," said the lady. 

" Certainly, Ma'am," interposed Mr. Pickwick very quickly. " Cer- 
tainly, Ma'am. I — I — am very sorry, Ma'am," said Mr. Pickwick, 
making his appearance at the bottom of the bed, " to have been the 
innocent occasion of this alarm and emotion ; deeply sorry, Ma'am." 

The lady pointed to the door. One excellent quality of Mr. Pick- 
wick's character was beautifully displayed at this moment, under the 
most trying circumstances. Although he had hastily put on his hat 
over his night-cap, after the manner of the old patrol ; although he 
carried his shoes and gaiters in his hand, and his coat and waistcoat 
over his arm, nothing could subdue his native politeness. 

'' I am exceedingly sorry, Ma'am," said Mr. Pickwick, bowing very 

*' If you are. Sir, you will at once leave the room," said the lady. 

" Immediately, Ma'am ; this instant, Ma'am," said Mr. Pickwick 
opening the door, and dropping both his shoes with a loud crash in so 

" I trust. Ma'am," resumed Mr. Pickwick, gathering up his shoes, 
and turning round to bow again. " I trust. Ma'am, that my unblemished 
character, and the devoted respect I entertain for your sex, will plead 
as some slight excuse for this" — But before Mr. Pickwick could con- 
clude the sentence, the lady had thrust him into the passage, and 
locked and bolted the door behind him. 

Whatever grounds of self-congratulation Mr. Pickwick might have, 
for having escaped so quietly from his late awkward situation, his pre- 
sent position was by no means enviable. He was alone, in an open 
passage, in a strange house, in the middle of the night, half dressed ; it 
was not to be supposed that he could find his way in perfect darkness 
to a room which he had been wholly unable to discover with a light, 
and if he made the slightest noise in his fruitless attempts to do so, he 
stood every chance of being shot at, and perhaps killed, by some wake- 
ful traveller. He had no resource but to remain where he was, until 
daylight appeared. So after groping his way a few paces down the 
passage, and to his infinite alarm, stumbling over several pairs of boots 
in so doing, Mr. Pickwick crouched into a little recess in the wall, to 
wait for morning, as philosophically as he might. 

He was not destined, however, to undergo this additional trial of 
patience : for he had not been long ensconced in his present conceal- 
ment when, to his unspeakable horror, a man, bearing a light, appeared 
at the end of the passage. His horror was suddenly converted into joy, 
however, when he recognised the form of his faithful attendant. It 
was indeed Mr. Samuel Weller, who after sitting up thus late, in con- 
versation with the Boots, who was sitting up for the mail, was now 
about to retire to rest. 



'•^ Sam," said Mr. Pickwick, suddenly appearing- before him, " Where's 
■ iTT-v hed-room ?" 

.Mr. VVeller stared at his master with the most emphatic surprise ; 
and it was not until the question had been repeated three several times, 
that he turned round, and led the way to the long-sought apartment. 

" Sam," said Mr. Pickwick as he g"ot into bed. " I have made one 
of the most extraordinary mistakes to-nig-ht, that ever were heard of." 
' " Wery likely. Sir," replied Mr. Weller drily. 

'* But of this I am determined, Sara," said Mr. Pickwick ; " that 
if 1 were to stop in this house for six months, I would never trust my- 
self about it, alone, again." 

' << 'J'hat's the wery prudentest resolution as you could come to, Sir," 
replied Mr. Weller. *' You rayther want somebody to look arter you 
Sir, ven your judgment goes out a wisitin'." 

" What do you mean by that, Sam ? " said Mr. Pickwick. He raised 
himself in bed, and extended his hand, as if he were about to say some- 
thing- more ; but suddenly checking- himself, turned round, and bade his 
yalet " Good night.*' 

" Good night. Sir," replied Mr. Weller. He paused when he got 
outside the door — shook his head — walked on — stopped — snuffed the 
candle — shook his head again — and finally proceeded slowly tj his 
chamber, apparently buried in the profoundest meditation. 



In a small room in the vicinity of the stable-yard, betimes in the 
morning, which was ushered in by Mr. Pickwick's adventure with the 
middle-aged lady in the yellow curl-papers, sat Mr. Weller senior, pre- 
paring himself for his journey to London. He was sitting in an excel- 
lent attitude for having his portrait taken ; and here it is. 

It is very possible that at some earlier period of his career, Mr. 
Weller's profile might have presented a bold, and determined outline. 
His face, however, had expanded under the influence of good living, 
and a disposition remarkable for resignation ; and its bold fleshy curves 
had so far extended beyond the limits originally assigned them, that 
unless you took a full view of his countenance in front, it was difficult 
to distinguish more than the extreme tip of a very rubicund nose. 
His chin, from the same cause, had acquired the grave and imposing 
form which is generally described by prefixing the word " double" to K 
that expressive feature, and his complexion exhibited that peculiarly 
mottled combination of colours which is only to be seen in gentlemen 
of his profession, and underdone roast beef. ■ Round his heck he wore 
a crimson travelling shawl, which merged into his chin by such imper- 


ceptible grudatiuns, that it was iliBicult to distinguii^h the folds of the 
one, from the folds of the other. Over this, he mounted a long waist- 
coat of a broad pink-striped pattern, and over that ag-ain, a wide- 
skirted green coat, ornamented with larg-e brass buttons, whereof the 
two which garnished the waist, were so far apart, that no man had ever 
beheld them both, at the same time. His hair, which was short, sleek, 
and black, was just visible beneath the capacious brim of a low-crowned 
brown hat. His legs were encased in knee-cord breeches, and painted 
top-boots : and a copper watch-chain terminating in one seal, and a key 
of the same material, dangled loosely from his capacious waist-band. 

We have said that Mr. Weller was engaged in preparing for his 
journey to London — he was taking sustenance, in fact. On the table 
before him, stood a pot of ale, a cold round of beef, and a very respect- 
able-looking loaf, to each of which he distributed his favours in turn, 
with the most rigid impartiality. He had just cut a mighty slice from 
the latter, when the footsteps of somebody entering the room, caused 
him to raise his head ; and he beheld his son. 

" Mornin' Sammy," said the father. 

The son walked up to the pot of ale, and nodding significantly to his 
parent, took a long draught by way of reply. 

" Wery good power o' suction, Sammy," .said Mr. Weller the elder, 
looking into the pot, when his lirst-born had set it down half empty. 
" You'd ha' made an uncommon fine oyster, Sammy, if you'd been born 
in that station o' life." 

" Yes, I des-say I should ha' managed to pick up a respectable 
livin'," replied Sam, applying himself to the cold beef, with considerable 

" I'm wery sorry, Sammy", said the elder Mr. Weller, shaking up the 
ale, by describing small circles with the pot, preparatory to drinking. 
** I'm wery sorry, Sammy, to hear from your lips, as you let yourself be 
gammoned by that 'ere mulberry man. I always thought, up to three 
days ago, that the names of Veller and gammon could never come into 
contract, Sammy — never." 

*' Always exceptin' the case of a wrdder, of course, ' said Sam. 

•♦ Widders, Sammy," replied Mr. Weller, slightly changing colour. 
" Widders. are 'ceptions to ev'ry rule. I have heerd how many ord'nary 
women, one widder's equal to, in pint o* comjn' over j'ou. I think it's 
five-and-twenty, but I don't .rightly know vether it an't more.'* 

" Well ; that's pretty well," said Sam. 

" Besides," continued Mr. Weller, not noticing the interruption, 
" that's a wery different thing. You know what the counsel said, 
Sammy, as defended the gen'lem'n as beat his wife with the poker, 
venever he got jolly. ' And arter all, my Lord,' says he, * it's a amia- 
ble weakness.' So I says respectin' widders, Sammy, and so you'll say, 
ven you gets as old as 1 am." 

" I ought to ha' knovv'd better, I know," said Sam. 

" Ought to ha' know'd better ! " repeated Mr. Weller, striking the 
table with his fist. " Ought to ha' know'd better! why, I know a 
young 'un as hasn't had half nor quarter your eddication— a$ hasn't 


slept about the markets, no, not six months — who'd ha' scorned to be 
let in, in such a vay ; scorned it, Sammy," In the excitement of feel- 
ing- produced by this agonising- reflection, Mr. Weller rang the bell, and 
ordered an additional pint of ale. 

" Well, it's no use talking about it now," said Sam. '' It's over, and 
can't be helped, and that's one consolation, as they alvays says in Tur- 
key, ven they cuts the wrong man's head ofi*. It's my innings now, 
gov'rnor, and as soon as I catches hold o* this here Trotter, I'll 
have a good 'un." 

" I hope you will, Sammy. I hope you will," returned Mr. Weller. 
*' Here's your health, Sammy, and may you speedily vipe oif the dis- 
grace as you've inflicted on the family name." In honour of this toast 
Mr. Weller imbibed at a draught, at least two-thirds of the newly- 
arrived pint, and handed it over to his son, to dispose of the remainder, 
which he instantaneously did. 

" And now, Sammy," said Mr. Weller, consulting the large double- 
cased silver watch that hung at the end of the copper chain. " Now 
it's time I was up at the office to get my vay-bill, and see the coach 
loaded ; for coaches, Sammy, is like guns — they requires to be loaded 
with wery great care afore they go off." 

At this parental and professional joke, Mr. Weller junior smiled a 
filial smile. His revered parent continued in a solemn tone — 

" I'm a goin' to leave you, Samivel my boy, and there's no telling 
ven I shall see you again. Your mother-in-law may ha' been too much 
for me, or a thousand things may have happened by the time you next 
hears any news o' the celebrated Mr. Veller o' the Bell Savage. The 
family name depends wery much upon you, Samivel, and I hope you'll 
do wot's right by it. Upon all little pints o' breedin', I know I may 
trust you as veil as if it was my own self. So I've only this here one 
little bit of adwice to give you. If ever you gets to up'ards o' fifty, and 
feels disposed to go a marryin' anybody — no matter who — jist you 
shut yourself up in your own room, if you've got one, and pison 
yourself off" hand. Hangin's wulgar, so don't you have nothin* to say 
to that. Pison yourself, Samivel my boy, pison yourself, and you'll 
be glad on it arterwards." With these affecting words, Mr. Weller 
looked stedfastly on his son, and turning slowly upon his heel, disap- 
peared from his sight. 

In the contemplative mood which these words had avvakened, Mr. 
Samuel Weller walked forth from the Great White Horse when his 
father had left him ; and bending his steps towards Saint Clement's 
Church, endeavoured to dissipate his melancholy, by strolling among 
its ancient precincts. He had loitered about, for some time, when he 
found himself in a retired spot — a kind of court-yard of venerable ap- 
pearance — which he discovered had no other outlet than the turning by 
which he had entered. He was about retracing his steps, when he was 
suddenly transfixed to the spot by a suddon appearance; and the mode 
and manner of this appearance, we now proceed to relate. 

Mr. Samuel W^eller had been staring up, at the old red brick houses ; 
now and then, in his deep abstraction, bestowing a wink upon some 



healthy-looking^ servant girl as she drew up a hlind, or threw open a 
l)ed-roora window, when the green gate of a garden at the hottom of the 
yard, opened, and a man having emerged therefrom, closed the green 
gate very carefully after him, and walked briskly towards the very spot 
where Mr. Weller was standing. 

Now taking this, as an isolated fact, unaccompanied by any attendant 
circumstances, there was nothing very extraordinary in it, because in 
many parts of the world, men do come out of gardens, close green gates 
after them, and even walk briskly away, without attracting any parti- 
cular share of public observation. It is clear, therefore, that there must 
have been something in the man, or in his manner, or both, to attract 
Mr. Weller's particular notice. Whether there was, or not, we must 
leave the reader to determine, when we have faithfully recounted the 
behaviour of the individual in question. 

When the man had shut the green gate after him, he walked, as we 
have said twice already, with a brisk pace up the court-yard ; but he no 
sooner caught sight of Mr. Weller, than he faltered, and stopped, as 
if uncertain for the moment what course to adopt. As the green gate 
was closed behind him, and there was no other outlet but the one in 
front, however, he was not long in perceiving that he must pass Mr. 
Samuel Weller to get away. He therefore resumed his brisk pace, and 
advanced, staring straight before him. The most extraordinary thing 
about the man was, that he was contorting his face into the most fear- 
ful and astonishing grimaces that ever were beheld. Nature's handy- 
work never was disguised with such extraordinary artificial carving, as 
the man had overlaid his countenance with, in one moment. 

'* Well," — said Mr. Weller to himself, as the man approached. 
" This is wery odd. I could ha' swore it was him." 

Up came the man, and his face became more frightfully distorted 
than ever, as he drew nearer. 

•' I could take my oath to that 'ere black hair, and mulberry suit," 
said Mr. Weller; " only I never see such a face as that, afore." 

As Mr. Weller said this, the man's features assumed an unearthly 
twinge, perfectly hideous. He was obliged to pass very near Sara 
however, and the scrutinising glance of that gentleman enabled him to 
detect, under all these appalling twists of feature, something too like 
the small eyes of Mr. Job Trotter, to be easily mistaken. 

" Hallo, you Sir," shouted Sam, fiercely. 

The stranger stopped. 

" Hallo," repeated Sam, still more gruffly. 

The man with the horrible face, looked, with the greatest surprise, up 
the court, and down the court, and in at the windows of the houses — 
everywhere but at Sam Weller — and took another step forward, when 
he was brought to again, by another shout. 

" Hallo, you Sir," — said Sam, for the third time. 

There was no pretending to mistake where the voice came from 
now, so the stranger, having no other resource, at last looked Sam 
Weller full in the face. 

'* It won't do, Job Trotter," said Sara. " Corae, none o' that 'ere 


nonsense. Yon ain't' so vvery 'ansome that you can afford to throw 
avay many o' your good looks. Bring- them 'ere eyes o' your'n back 
into their proper places, or I'll knock 'em out of your head. Dy'e 
hear ? " 

As Mr. Weller appeared fully disposed to act up to the spirit of this 
address, Mr. Trotter gradually allowed his face to resume its natural 
expression ; and then giving a start of joy, exclaimed, '^ What do I 
see ? Mr. Walker ! " 

''Ah," replied Sam—" You're wery glad to see me, ain't you?" 
"Glad!" exclaimed Job Trotter—" Oh, Mr. Walker, if you had 
but known how I have looked forward to this meeting ! It is too 
much, Mr. Walker ; I cannot bear it, indeed I cannot." And with 
these words, Mr. Trotter burst into a regular inundation of tears, and, 
flinging his arms round those of Mr. Weller, embraced him closely, in 
an ecstacy of joy. 

" Get off," cried Sam, highly indignant at this process, and vainly 
endeavouring to extricate himself from the grasp of his enthusiastic 
acquaintance — " Get off, I tell you. What are you crying over me for, 
you portable ingine?" 

" Because I am so glad to see you," replied Job Trotter, gradually 
releasing Mr. Weller, as the first symptoms of his pugnacity disappeared. 
*' Oh, Mr. Walker, this is too much." 

" Too much !" echoed Sam, " I think it is too much — rayther. Now 
what have you got to say to me, eh ? " 

Mr. Trotter made no reply ; for the little pink pocket handkerchief 
was in full force. 

" What have you got to say to me, afore I knock your head off? 
repeated Mr. Vv^eller, in a threatening manner. 

" Eh !" said Mr. Trotter, with a look of virtuous surprise. 
'* What have you got to say to me?" 
« I, Mr. W'alker!" 

" Don't call me Valker ; my name's Veller ; you know that veil 
enough. What have you got to say to me?" 

" Bless you, Mr. Walker — W^eller I mean — a great many things, if 
you will come away somewhere, vv'he"e we can talk comfortably. If you 
knew how I have looked for you, Mr. Weller — " 
" Wery hard, indeed, Is'pose?" said Sam, drily. 
" Very, very. Sir," replied Mr. Trotter, without moving a muscle of 
his face. '* But shake hands, Mr. Weller." 

Sam eyed his companion for a few seconds, and then, as if actuated by 
d sudden impulse, complied with his request. 

" How," said Job Trotter, as they walked away — " How is your dear, 
good master? Oh, he is a worthy gentleman, Mr. Weller. I hope he 
didn't catch cold, that dreadful night, Sir." 

There was a momentary look of deep slyness in Job Trotter's eye, 
as he said this, which ran a thrill through Mr. Weller's clenched fist 
as he burnt with a desire to make a demonstration on his ribs. Sam 
constrained himself, however, and replied that his master was extremely 


" Oh, I am so glad," replied Mr. Trotter. " is he here?" 

•' Is your'n ?" asked Sam, by way of reply. 

" Oh, yes, he is here, and I grieve to say, Mr. Weller, he is going 
on, worse than ever." 

"Ah, ah?" said Sara. 

" Oh, shocking — terrible." 

" At a boarding-school ? " said Sam. 

" No, not at a boarding-school," replied Job Trotter, with the same 
sly look which Sam had noticed before — " Not at a boarding-school." 

"At the house with the green gate?" inquired Sam, eyeing hi« 
companion closely. 

« No, no — oh, not there," replied Job, with a quickness very unusual 
to him, " not there.*' 

" What was you a doin' there ? " asked Sam, with a sharp glance — 
" Got inside the gate by accident, perhaps ? " 

" Why, Mr. Weller," replied Job, " I don't mind telling you my 
little secrets, because you know we took such a fancy for each other 
when we first met. You recollect how pleasant we were that 
morning ? " 

" Oh yes," said Sam, impatiently — " I remember. W^ell." 

•* Well," replied Job, speaking with great precision, and in the low 
tone of a man who communicates an important secret — " In that house 
with the green gate, Mr. Weller, they keep a good many servants." 

" So I should think, from the look on it," interposed Sam. 

" Yes," continued Mr. Trotter, " and one of them is a cook, who 
has saved up a little money, Mr. Weller, and is desirous, if she can 
establish herself in life, to open a little shop in the chandlery way, 
you see." 

" Yes." 

" Yes, Mr. Weller. Well, Sir, I met her at a chapel that I go to— 
a very neat little chapel in this town, Mr. Weller, where they sing the 
number four collection of hymns, which I generally carry about with 
me, in a little book, which you may perhaps have seen in my hand — 
and I got a little intimate with her, Mr. Weller, and from that, an 
acquaintance sprung up between us, and I may venture to say, Mr, 
Weller, that I am to be the chandler." 

" Ah, and a wery amiable chandler you'll make," replied Sam, eye- 
ing Job with a side look of intense dislike. 

" The great advantage of this, Mr. Weller," continued Job, his eyes 
filling with tears as he spoke, " will be, that I shall be able to leave 
my present disgraceful service with that bad man, and to devote myself 
to a better and more virtuous life — more like the way in which I was 
brought up, Mr. Weller." 

" You must ha' been wery nicely brought up," said Sam. 

" Oh, very, Mr. Weller, very," replied Job ; and at the recollection 
of the purity of his youthful days, Mr. Trotter pulled forth the pink 
handkerchief, and wept copiously. 

"You must ha' been an uncommon nice boy, to go to school vith," 
said Sam. 


'' I was Sir," replied Job, heaving a deep sigh. " I was the idol of 
the place." 

" Ah," said Sam " 1 don't wonder at it. What a comfort you must 
ha' been to your blessed mother." 

At these words, Mr. Job Trotter inserted an end of the pink 
handkerchief into the corner of each eye, one after the other, and begun 
to weep copiously. 

" Vhat's the matter vith the man," said Sam indignantly. " Chelsea 
waterworks is nothin' to you. What are you melting vith now — the 
consciousness o* willainy ? " 

" I cannot keep my feelings down, Mr. Weller," said Job, after a 
short pause. " To think that my master should have suspected the 
conversation I had with yours, and so dragged me away in a post-chaise, 
and after persuading the sweet young lady to say she knew nothing of 
him, and bribing the school-mistress to do the same, deserted her for a 
better speculation, — oh ! Mr. Weller, it makes me shudder." 

" Oh, that was the vay, was it ?" said Mr. Weller. 

*' To be sure it was," replied Job. 

" Veil,'' said Sam, as they had now arrived near the Hotel, " I vant 
to have a little bit o' talk with you. Job ; so if you're not partickler 
engaged, I should like to see you at the Great White Horse to-night, 
somewheres about eight o'clock." 

" I shall be sure to come," said Job. 

«' Yes, you'd better," replied Sam, with a very meaning look, " or 
else I shall perhaps be askin' arter you, at the other side of the green 
gate, and then 1 might cut you out, you know." 

"I shall be sure to be with you," said Mr. Trotter; and wringing 
Sam's hand with the utmost fervour, he walked away. 

" Take care, Job Trotter, take care," said Sam, looking after him, 
*' or I shall be one too many for you this time, I shall, indeed." 
Having uttered this soliloquy, and looked after Job till he was to be 
seen no more, Mr. Weller made the best of his way to his master's bed- 

'• It's all in training, Sir," said Sam. 

" What's in training, Sam ? " inquired Mr. Pickwick. 

" I have found 'em out. Sir," said Sam. 

" Found out who?" 

" That 'ere queer customer, and the melan-cholly chap with the 
black hair." 

« Impossible, Sam I " said Mr. Pickwick, with the greatest energy— 
*' Where are they, Sam; where are they?" 

" Hush, hush ! " replied Mr. Weller ; and as he assisted Mr. Pickwick 
to dress, he detailed the plan of action on which he proposed to enter. 

" But when is this to be done, Sam ? " inquired Mr. Pickwick. 

'* All in good time, Sir," replied Sam. 

Whether it was done in good time, or not, will be seen hereafter. 




When Mr. Pickwick descended to the room in which he and Mr, 
Peter Magnus had spent the preceding evening, he found that gentle- 
man with the major part of the contents of the two bags, the leathern 
hat-box, and the brown-paper parcel, displayed to all possible advantage 
on his person, while he himself was pacing up and down the room in a 
state of the utmost excitement and agitation. 

" Good morning. Sir," said Mr. Peter Magnus — *' What do you 
think of this. Sir?" 

" Very effective indeed," replied Mr. Pickwick, surveying the gar- 
ments of Mr. Peter Magnus with a good-natured smile. 

" Yes, I think it '11 do," said Mr. Magnus. " Mr. Pickwick, Sir, I 
have sent up my card." 

" Have you?" said Mr. Pickwick. 

" Yes ; and the waiter brought back word, that she would see me at 
eleven — at eleven, Sir; it only wants a quarter now." 

" Very near the time," said Mr. Pickwick. 

" Yes, it is rather near/' replied Mr. Magnus, *' rather too near to 
be pleasant — eh I Mr. Pickwick, Sir ?" 

" Confidence is a great thing in these cases," observed Mr. Pickwick. 

" I believe it is. Sir," said Mr. Peter Magnus. " I am very con- 
fident. Sir. Really, Mr. Pickwick, I do not see why a man should feel 
any fear in such a case as this. Sir. What is it. Sir ? There's nothing 
to be ashamed of ; it's a matter of mutual accommodation, nothing 
more. Husband on one side, wife on the other. That's my view of 
the matter, Mr. Pickwick." 

" It is a very philosophical one," replied Mr. Pickwick. " But 
breakfast is waiting, Mr. Magnus. Come." 

Down they sat to breakfast, but it was evident, notwithstanding the 
boasting of Mr. Peter Magnus, that he laboured under a very consider- 
able degree of nervousness, of which loss of appetite, a propensity to 
upset the tea-things, a spectral attempt at drollery, and an irresistible 
inclination to look at the clock every other second, were among the 
principal symptoms. 

" He — he — he," tittered Mr. Magnus, affecting cheerfulness, and 
gasping with agitation. " It only wants two minutes, Mr. Pickwick. 
Am I pale. Sir?" 

t" Not very," replied Mr. Pickwick. 
There was a brief pause. 
" I beg your pardon, Mr. Pickwick ; but have you ever done this 
rt of thing in your time ?" said Mr. Magnus. 


** You mean proposing- ? " said Mr. Pickwick. 

" Yes." 

" Never," said Mr. Pickwick, with great energy, " never." 

" You have no idea, then, how it's best to begin ?" said Mr. Magnus. 

" Why," said Mr. Pickwick, " I may have formed some ideas upon 
the subject, but, as I have never submitted them to the test of expe- 
rience, I should be sorry if you were induced to regulate your proceedings 
by them." 

" I should feel very much obliged to you, for any advice. Sir," said 
Mr. Magnus, taking another look at the clock, the hand of which was 
verging on the five minutes past. 

" Well, Sir," said Mr. Pickwick, with the profound solemnity with 
which that great man could, when he pleased, render his remarks so 
deeply impressive — " I should commence, Sir, with a tribute to the 
lady's beauty and excellent qualities ; from them, Sir, I should diverge 
to my own unworthiness." 

** Very good," said Mr. Magnus. 

" Unworthiness for her only, mind. Sir," resumed Mr. Pickwick ; 
" for to shew that I was not wholly unworthy. Sir, I should take a brief 
review of my past life, and present condition. I should argue, by analogy, 
that to anybody else, I must be a very desirable object. I should then 
expatiate on the warmth of my love, and the depth of my devotion. 
Perhaps I might then be tempted to seize her hand." 

" Yes, I see," said Mr. Magnus; '*that would be a very great point." 

" I should then, Sir," continued Mr. Pickwick, growing warmer as 
the subject presented itself in more glowing colours before him — ^** I 
should then, Sir, come to the plain and simple question, * Will you have 
me ? ' I think I am justified in assuming that upon this, she would turn 
away her head." 

" You think that may be taken for granted ? " said Mr. Magnus ; 
" because, if she did not do that at the right place, it would be em- 

" I think she would," said Mr. Pickwick. " Upon this. Sir, I 
should squeeze her hand, and I think — I think, Mr. Magnus — that after 
I had done that, supposing there was no refusal, I should gently draw 
away the handkerchief, which my slight knowledge of human nature 
leads me to suppose the lady would be applying to her eyes at the 
moment, and steal a respectful kiss. I think I should kiss her, Mr. 
Magnuft ; and at this particular point, I am decidedly of opinion that 
if the kdy were going to take me at all, sh€ would murmur into my ears 
a bashful acceptance." 

Mr. Magnus started : gazed on Mr. Pickwick's intelligent face, for 
a short time in silence, and then (the dial pointing to the ten 
minutes past) shook him warmly by the hand, and rushed desperately 
from the room. 

Mr. Pickwick had taken a few strides to and fro ; and the small hand 
of the clock following the latter part of his example, had arrived at the 
figure which indicates the half hour, when the door suddenly opened. 
He turned round to greet Mr, Peter Magnus, and encountered in his 



stead the joyous face of Mr. Tiipman, the serene coiintenant e of Mr. 
Winkle, and the intellectual lineaments of Mr. Snodgrass. 

As Mr. Pickwick g^reeted them, Mr. Peter Mag-nus tripped into the 

" My friends, the gentleman I was speaking of, Mr. Magnus," said 
Mr. Pickwick. 

" Your servant, gentlemen," said Mr. Magnus, evidently in a high 
state of excitement ; " Mr. Pickwick, allow me to speak to you, one 
moment. Sir." 

As he said this, Mr. Magnus harnessed his fore-finger to Mr. Pick- 
wick's button-hole, and, drawing him into a window recess, said — 

"Congratulate me, Mr. Pickwick; I followed your advice to the very 

" And it was all correct, was it ?" inquired Mr. Pickwick. 

" It was. Sir — could not possibly have been better," replied Mr. 
Magnus ; " Mr. Pickwick, she is mine." 

" I congratulate you, with all my heart," replied Mr. Pickwick, 
warmly shaking his new friend by the hand. 

" You must see her, Sir," said Mr. Magnus ; *' this way, if you 
please. Excuse \i8 for one instant, gentlemen." And hurrying on in 
this way, Mr. Peter Magnus drew Mr. Pickwick from th6 room. He 
paused at the next door in the passage, and tapped gently thereat. 

" Come in," said a female voice. And in they went. 

" Miss Witherfield," said Mr. Magnus, " Allow me to introduce my 
very particular friend, Mr. Pickwick. Mr. Pickwick, I beg to make 
you known to Miss Witherfield." 

The lady was at the upper end of the room, and as Mr. Pickwick 
bowed, he took his spectacles from his waistcoat pocket, and put thera 
on, a process which he had no sooner gone through, than, uttering an 
exclamation of surprise, Mr. Pickwick retreated several paces, and the 
lady, with a half-suppressed scream, hid her face in her hands, and 
dropped into a chair, whereupon Mr. Peter Magnus was struck motion- 
less on the spot, and gazed from one to the other, with a countenance 
expressive of the extremities of horror and surprise. 

This certainly was, to all appearance, very unaccountable behaviour, 
but the fact was, that Mr. Pickwick no sooner put on his spectacles, 
than he at once recognised in the future Mrs. Magnus the lady into 
whose room he had so unwarrantably intruded on the previous night ; 
and the spectacles had no sooner crossed Mr. Pickwick's nose, than the 
lady at once identified the countenance which she had seen surrounded 
by all the horrors of a night-cap. So the lady screamed, and Mr. Pick- 
wick started. 

" Mr. Pickwick ! " exclaimed Mr. Magnus, lost in astonishment, 

" What is the meaning of this. Sir? What is the meaning of it, Sir?" 

added Mr. Magnus, in a threatening, and a louder tone. 

Ih " Sir," said Mr. Pickwick, somewhat indignant at the very sudden 

■^Banner in which Mr. Peter Magnus had conjugated himself into the 

imperative mood, " I decline answering that question." 

" You decline it. Sir ? " said Mr. Magnus. 



" I do, Sir," replied Mr. Pickwick ; " I object to saying anything- 
wliich may compromise that lady, or awaken unpleasant recollections 
in her breast, without her consent and permission," 

" Miss Witherfield," said Mr. Peter Magnus, " do you know this 
person ? " 

" Know him I" repeated the middle-aged lady, hesitating. 

*' Yes, know him, Ma'am, I said know him," replied Mr. Magnus, 
with ferocity. 

" I have seen him," replied the middle-aged lady. 

" Where?" inquired Mr. Magnus, " where?" 

" That," said the middle-aged lady, rising from her seat, and averting 
her head, '* that I would not reveal for worlds." 

" I understand you, Ma'am," said Mr. Pickwick, " and respect your 
delicacy ; it shall never be revealed by me, depend upon it." 

" Upon my word. Ma'am," said Mr. Magnus, " considering the 
situation in which I am placed with regard to yourself, you carry this 
matter off with tolerable coolness — tolerable coolness, Ma'am." 

" Cruel Mr. Magnus," said the middle-aged lady ; and here she wept 
very copiously indeed. 

" Address your observations to me, Sir," interposed Mr. Pickwick ; 
" I alone ara to blame, if anybody be." 

" Oh ! you alone are to blame, are you. Sir ? " said Mr. Magnus ; 
*« I — I — see through this, Sir. You repent of your determination now, 
do you ? " 

" My determination !" said Mr. Pickwick. 

" Your determination. Sir. Oh ! don't stare at me, Sir," said Mr. 
Magnus ; " I recollect your words last night. Sir. You came down 
here, Sir, to expose the treachery and falsehood of an individual on 
whose truth and honour you had placed implicit reliance — eh ? " Here 
Mr. Peter Magnus indulged in a prolonged sneer ; and taking off his 
green spectacles — which he probably found superfluous in his fit of 
jealousy — rolled his little eyes about, in a manner which was frightful 
to behold. 

" Eh?" said Mr. Magnus ; and then he repeated the sneer with in- 
creased effect. " But you shall answer it, Sir." 

"Answer what ?" said Mr. Pickwick. 

" Never mind, Sir," replied Mr. Magnus, striding up and down the 
room — " Never mind." 

There must be something very comprehensive in this phrase of 
"Never mind," for we do not recollect to have ever witnessed a quarrel 
in the street, at a theatre, public room, or elsewhere, in which it has not 
been the standard reply to all belligerent inquiries. " Do you call your- 
self a gentleman. Sir?" — "Never mind, Sir." "Did 1 offer to say 
anything to the young woman, Sir?" — " Never mind, Sir." " Do you 
want your head knocked up against that wall, Sir ?" — " Never mind. Sir." 
It is observable, too, that there would appear to be some hidden taunt 
in this universal " Never mind," which rouses more indignation in the 
bosom of the individual addressed, than the most lavish abuse could 
possibly awaken. 


^^ We do not moan to assert that the application of this brevity to 
himself, struck exactly that indignation to Mr. Pickwick's soul, which 
it would infallibly have roused in a vulg^ar breast. We merely record 
the fact that Mr. Pickwick opened the room door, and abruptly called 
out, " Tupman, come here." 

Mr. Tupman immediately presented himself, with a look of very 
considerable surprise. 

" Tupman," said Mr. Pickwick, " a secret of some delicacy, in which 
that lady is concerned, is the cause of a difference which has just arisen 
between this g-entleman and myself. When I assure him, in your pre- 
sence, that it has no relation to himself, and is not in any way connected 
with his affairs, I need hardly beg^ you to take notice that if he continues 
to dispute it, he expresses a doubt of my veracity, which I shall consider 
extremely insulting " As Mr. Pickwick said this, he looked encyclo- 
paedias at Mr. Peter Magnus. 

Mr. Pickwick's upright and honourable bearing, coupled with that 
force and energy of speech which so eminently distinguished him, would 
have carried conviction to any reasonable mind ; but unfortunately at 
that particular moment, the mind of Mr. Peter Magnus was in any- 
thing but reasonable order. Consequently, instead of receiving Mr. 
Pickwick's explanation as he ought to have done, he forthwith pro- 
ceeded to work himself into a red-hot scorching consuming passion, and 
to talk about what was due to his own feelings, and all that sort of 
thing, adding force to his declamation by striding to and fro, and pulling 
his hair, amusements which he would vary occasionally, by shaking his 
fist in Mr. Pickwick's philanthropic countenance. 

Mr. Pickwick, in his turn, conscious of his own innocence and recti- 
tude, and irritated by having unfortunately involved the middle-aged 
lady in such an unpleasant affair, was not so quietly disposed as was his 
wont. The consequence was, that words ran high, and voices higher, 
and at length Mr. Magnus told Mr. Pickwick he should hear from him, 
to which Mr. Pickwick replied with laudable politeness, that the sooner 
he heard from him the better; whereupon the middle-aged lady rushed 
in terror from the I'oora, out of which Mr. Tupman dragged Mr. Pick- 
wick, leaving Mr. Peter Magnus to himself and meditation. 

If the middle-aged lady had mingled much with the busy world, or 
profited at all, by the manners and customs of those who make the 
laws and set the fashions, she would have known that this sort of 
ferocity is just the most harmless thing in nature ; but as she had lived 
for the most part in the country, and never read the parliamentary 
debates, she was little versed in these particular refinements of civilised 
life. Accordingly, when she had gained her bed-chamber, bolted herself 
in, and begun to meditate on the scene she had just witnessed, the most 
terrific pictures of slaughter and (destruction presented themselves to 
her imagination ; among which, a full-length portrait of Mr. Peter 
Magnus borne home by four men, with the embellishment of a whole 
barrel-full of bullets in his left side, was among the very least. The 
more the middle-aged lady meditated, the more terrified she became ; 
and at length she determined to repair to the bouse of the principal 


magistrate of the town, and request him to secure the persons of Mr. 
Pickwick and Mr. Tupman, without delay. 

To this decision, the middle-aged lady was impelled by a variety of 
considerations, the chief of which, was the incontestible proof it would 
afford of her devotion to Mr. Peter Magnus, and her anxiety for his 
safety. She was too well acquainted with his jealous temperament to 
venture the slightest allusion to the real cause of her agitation on 
beholding Mr. Pickwick ; and she trusted to her own influence and 
power of persuasion with the little man, to quell his boisterous jealousy, 
supposing that Mr. Pickwick were removed., and no fresh quarrel could 
arise. Filled with these reflections, the middle-aged lady arrayed 
herself in her bonnet and shawl, and repaired to the Mayor's dwelling 

** Now George Nupkins, Esquire, the principal magistrate aforesaid, was 
about as grand a personage as the fastest walker would find out, between 
sunrise and sunset, on the twenty-first of June, which being, according 
to the almanacs, the longest day in the whole year, would naturally 
afi^ord him the longest period for his search. On this particular morning, 
Mr. Nupkins was in a state of the utmost excitement and irritation, for 
there had been a rebellion in the town ; all the day-scholars at the 
largest day-school, had conspired to break the windows of an obnoxious 
apple-seller, and had hooted the beadle, and pelted the constabulary — an 
elderly gentleman in top-boots, who had been called out to repress the 
tumult ; and had been a peace-officer, man and boy, for half a century at 
least. "And Mr. Nupkins was sitting in his easy chair, frowning with 
majesty, and boiling with rage, when a lady was announced on pressing, 
private, and particular business. Mr. Nupkins looked calmly terrible, 
and commanded that the lady should be shown in, which command, 
like all the mandates of emperors, and magistrates, and other great 
potentates of the earth, was forthwith obeyed ; and Miss Witherfield, 
interestingly agitated, was ushered in accordingly. 

" Muzzle," said the Magistrate. 

Muzzle was an under-sized footman, with a long body and short legs. 

" Muzzle." 

" Yes, your worship." 

" Place a chair and leave the room." 

" Yes, your worship." 

''^ Now, Ma'am, will you state your business ? " said the Magistrate. 

" It is of a very painful kind, Sir," said Miss Witherfield. 

" Very likely. Ma'am," said the Magistrate. " Compose your feelings, 
Ma'am." Here Mr. Nupkins looked benignant. " And then tell me 
what legal business brings you here, Ma'am." Here the Magistrate 
triumphed over the man ; and he looked stern again. 

*' It is very distressing to me, Sir, to give this information," said Miss 
Witherfield, " but I fear a duel is going to be fought here." 

" Here, Ma'am," said the Magistrate. " Where, Ma'am ?" 

" In Ipswich." 

" In Ipswich, Ma'am — a duel in Ipswich," said the Magistrate, per- 
fectly aghast at the notion. " Impossible, Ma'am : nothing of the kind 


can l>e contemplated in this town, I am persuaded. Bless my soul, Ma'am, 
are you aware of the activity of our local magistracy ? Do you liappen 
to have heard, Ma'am, that I rushed into a prize-ring on the fourth of 
May last, attended by only sixty special constables ; and, at the hazard 
of falling a sacrifice to the angry passions of an infuriated multitude, 
prohibited a pugilistic contest between the Middlesex Dumpling, and 
the Suffolk Bantam? A duel in Ipswich, Ma'am ! I don't think — I 
do not think," said the Magistrate, reasoning with himself, '* that any 
two men can have had the hardihood to plan such a breach of the 
peace, in this town." 

*' My information is unfortunately but too correct," said the middle- 
aged lady, *' I was present at the quarrel." 

" It's a most extraordinary thing," said the astounded Magis- 
trate. " Muzzle." 

" Yes, your worship." 

*• Send Mr. Jinks here, directly — instantly." 

" Yes, your worship." 

Muzzle retired; and a pale, sharp-nosed, half-fed, shabbily-clad clerk, 
of middle age, entered the room. 

" Mr. Jinks," eaid the Magistrate — " Mr. Jinks." 

" Sir," said Mr. Jinks. 

" This lady, Mr. Jinks, has come here, to give information of an 
intended duel in this town." 

Mr. Jinks, not exactly knowing what to do, smiled a dependent's smile. 

" What are you laughing at, Mr. Jinks? " said the Magistrate. 

Mr. Jinks looked serious, instantly. 

" Mr. Jinks," said the Magistrate, *' you're a fool. Sir." 

Mr. Jiuks looked humbly at the great man, and bit the top of his pen. 

" You may see something very comical in this information. Sir ; but 
I can tell you this, Mr. Jinks, that you have very little to laugh at," 
said the Magistrate. 

The hungry-looking Jinks sighed, as if he were quite aware of the 
fact of his having very little indeed, to be merry about ; and, being 
ordered to take the lady's information, shambled to a seat, and proceeded 
to write it down. 

" This man Pickwick is the principal, I understand," said the Magis- 
trate, when the statement was finished. 

"He is," said the middle-aged lady. 

" And the other rioter — what's his name, Mr. Jinks ? " 

" Tupman, Sir." 

" Tupman is the second ? " 


'* The other principal you say, has absconded. Ma'am ? '* 

" Yes," replied Miss Witherfield, with a short cough. 

« Very well," said the Magistrate. " These are two cut-throats from 
London, who have come down here, to destroy his Majesty's population, 
thinking that at this distance from the capital, the arm of the law is weak 
and paralysed. They shall be made an example of. Draw up the 
warrants, Mr. Jinks. Muzzle." 



*' Yes, youi worship." 

" Is Grummer down stairs ? " 

*' Yes, your worship/' 

" Send him up." 

The obsequious Muzzle retired, and presently returned, introducing 
the elderly gentleman in the top-boots, who was chiefly remarkable for 
a bottle nose, a hoarse voice, a snuff-coloured surtout, and a wander- 
ing eye. 

" Grummer," said the Magistrate. 

" Your wash-up." 

" Is the town quiet now ? '* 

" Pretty well, your wash-up," replied Grummer. *' Pop'lar feeling 
has in a measure subsided, consekens o' the boys having dispersed to 

*' Nothing but vigorous measures will do, in these times, Grummer/' 
said the Magistrate, in a determined manner. " If the authority of the 
king's officers is set at nought, we must have the riot act read. If the 
civil power cannot protect these windows, Grummer, the military must 
protect the civil power, and the windows too. I believe that is a maxim 
of the constitution, Mr. Jinks ? " 

" Certainly, Sir," said Jinks. 

" Very good," said the Magistrate, signing the warrants. " Grummer, 
you will bring these persons before me, this afternoon. You will find 
them at the Great White Horse. You recollect the case of the Mid- 
dlesex Dumpling and the Suffolk Bantam, Grummer? " 

Mr. Grummer intimated, by a retrospective shake of the head, that 
he should never forget it — as indeed it was not likely he would, so long 
as it continued to be cited daily. 

" This is even more unconstitutional," said the Magistrate ; " this is 
even a greater breach of the peace, and a grosser infringement of his 
Majesty's prerogative. I believe duelling is one of His Majesty's 
most undoubted prerogatives, Mr. Jinks ? " 

" Expressly stipulated in Magna Charta, Sir," said Mr. Jinks. 

" One of the brightest jewels in the British crown, wrung from his 
Majesty by the Political Union of Barons, I believe, Mr. Jinks ? " said 
the Magistrate. 

" Just so, Sir," replied Mr. Jinks. 

" Very well," said the Magistrate, drawing himself up proudly, " it 
shall not be violated in this portion of his dominions. Grummer, pro- 
cure assistance, and execute these warrants with as little delay as possible. 

" Yes, your worship." 
" Show the lady out." 

Miss Witherfield retired, deeply impressed with the Magistrate's 
learning and research ; Mr. Nupkins retired to lunch ; Mr. Jinks retired 
within himself— that being the only retirement he had, except the sofa- 
bedstead in the small parlour which was occupied by his landlady's 
family in the day-time — and Mr. Grummer retired, to wash out, by his 
mode of discharging his present commission, the insult which had been 


fastened upon himself, and the other representative of His Majesty — 
the beadle — in the course of the morning-. 

While these resolute and determined preparations for the conservation 
of the King's peace, were pending-, Mr. Pickwick and his friends, wholly 
unconscious of the mighty events in progress, had sat quietly down to 
dinner ; and very talkative and companionable they all were ; Mr. Pick- 
wick was in the very act of relating his adventure of the preceding- 
night, to the great amusement of his followers, Mr. Tupman especially, 
when the door opened, and a somewhat forbidding countenance peeped 
into the room. The eyes in the forbidding countenance looked very 
earnestly at Mr. Pickwick, for several seconds, and were to all appear- 
ance satisfied with their investigation ; for the body to which the forbid- 
ding countenance belonged, slowly brought itself into the apartment, 
and presented the form of an elderly individual in top-boots — not to 
keep the reader any longer in suspense, in short, the eyes were the 
wandering eyes of Mr. Grummer, and the body was the body of the 
same gentleman. 

Mr. Grumraer's mode of proceeding was professional, but peculiar. 
His first act was to bolt the door on the inside ; his second, to polish his 
head and countenance very carefully with a cotton handkerchief; his 
third, to place his hat, with the cotton handkerchief in it, on the nearest 
chair ; and his fourth to produce from the breast-pocket of his coat, a 
short truncheon surmounted by a brazen crown, with which he beckoned 
to Mr. Pickwick with a grave and ghost-like air. 

Mr. Snodgrass was the first to break the astonished silence. He 
looked steadily at Mr. Grummer for a brief space, and then said empha- 
tically — '* This is a private room. Sir — a private room." 

Mr. Grummer shook his head, and replied — " No room's private to 
His Majesty when the street door's once passed. That's law. Some 
people maintains that an Englishman's house is his castle. That's 

The Pickwickians gazed on each other, with wondering eyes. 

" Which is Mr. Tupman ? " inquired Mr. Grummer. He had an 
intuitive perception of Mr. Pickwick ; he knew him at once. 

" My name's Tupman," said that gentleman. 

" My name's Law," said Mr. Grummer. 

« What ? " said Mr. Tupman. 

" Law," replied Mr. Grummer, "law, civil power, and exekative; 
them's my titles ; here's my authority. Blank Tupman, blank Pick- 
vick — against the peace of our sufferin Lord the King — stattit in that 
case made and purwided — and all regular. I apprehend you Pickvick, 
Tupman — the aforesaid." 

" What do you mean by this insolence ? " said Mr. Tupman, starting 
up — " Leave the room, leave the room." 

" Halloo," said Mr. Grummer, retreating very expeditiouslv to the 
door, and opening it an inch or two, " Dubbley." 

" Well," said a deep voice from the passage. 

" Come for'ard, Dubbley," said Mr. Grummer. 

At the word of command, a dirty-faced man, something over six feet 


high, and stout in proportion, squeezed himseif through the half-open 
door, making his face very red in the process, and entered the room. 

" Is the other specials outside, Dubbley ? " inquired Mr. Grummer, 

Mr. Dubbley, who was a man of few words, nodded assent. 

" Order in the diwision under your charge, Dubbley," said Mr. 

Mr. Dubbley did as he was desired ; and half a dozen men, each with a 
short truncheon and a brass crown, flocked into the room. Mr. Grum- 
mer pocketed his staff and looked at Mr. Dubbley, Mr. Dubbley pock- 
eted his staff and looked at the division ; and the division pocketed 
their staves and looked at Messrs. Tupman and Pickv/ick. 

Mr. Pickwick and his followers, rose as one man. 

" What is the meaning of this atrocious intrusion upon my privacy ?" 
said Mr. Pickwick. 

" Who dares apprehend me ? " said Mr. Tupman. 

" What do you want here, scoundrels ? " said Mr. Snodgrass. 

Mr. Winkle said nothing, but he fixed his eyes on Grummer, and 
bestowed a look upon him, which, if he had had any feeling, must 
have pierced his brain, and come out on the other side. As it was, 
however, it had no visible effect upon him whatever. 

When the executive perceived that Mr. Pickwick and his friends 
were disposed to resist the authority of the law, they very significantly 
turned up their coat sleeves, as if knocking them down in the first 
instance, and taking them up afterwards, were a mere professional act 
which had only to be thought of, to be done, as a matter of course. This 
demonstration was not lost upon Mr. Pickwick. He conferred a few 
moments with Mr. Tupman apart, and then signified his readiness to 
proceed to the Mayor's residence, merely begging the parties then and 
there assembled, to take notice, that it was his firm intention to resent 
this monstrous invasion of his privileges as an Englishman, the instant 
he was at liberty, whereat the parties then and there assembled, laughed 
very heartily, with the single exception of Mr. Grummer, who seemed 
to consider that any slight cast upon the divine right of Magistrates, 
was a species of blasphemy, not to be tolerated. 

But when Mr. Pickwick had signified his readiness to bow to the laws 
of his country, and just when the waiters, and hostlers, and chamber- 
maids, and post-boys, who had anticipated a delightful commotion from 
his threatened obstinacy, began to turn away, disappointed and disgusted, 
a difficulty arose which had not been foreseen. With every sentiment 
of veneration for the constituted authorities, Mr. Pickwick resolutely 
protested against making his appearance in the public streets, surrounded 
and guarded by the officers of justice, like a common criminal. Mr. 
Grummer, in the then disturbed state of public feeling (for it was half- 
holiday, and the boys had not yet gone home), as resolutely protested 
against walking on the opposite side of the way, and taking Mr. Pick- 
wick's parole that he would go straight to the Magistrate's ; and both Mr. 
Pickwick and Mr. Tupman as strenuously objected to the expense of a 
post-coach, which was the only respectable conveyance that could be 
obtained. The dispute ran high, and the dilemma lasted long ; and just 


as the executive were on the point of overcoming Mr. Pickwick's objec- 
tion to walking to the Magistrate's, by the trite expedient of carrying 
him thither, it was recollected that there stood in the inn yard, an old 
sedan chair, which having been originally built for a gouty gentleman 
with funded property, would hold Mr. Pickwick and Mr. Tupman, at 
least as conveniently as a modern post-chaise. The chair was hired, and 
brought into the hall ; Mr. Pickwick and Mr. Tupman squeezed them- 
selves inside, and pulled down the blinds; a couple of chairmen were 
speedily found, and the procession started in grand order. The specials 
surrounded the body of the vehicle, Mr. Grummer and Mr. Dubbley 
marched triumphantly in front, Mr. Snodgrass and Mr. Winkle walked 
arm in arm behind, and the unsoaped of Ipswich brought up the rear. 

The shopkeepers of the town, although they had a very indistinct 
notion of the nature of the offence, could not but be much edified and 
gratified by this spectacle. Here was the strong arm of the law, coming 
down with twenty gold-beater force, upon two offenders from the metro- 
polis itself; the mighty engine was directed by their own Magistrate, and 
worked by their own officers ; and both the criminals by their united 
efforts, were securely boxed up, in the narrow compass of one sedan- 
chair. Many were the expressions of approval and admiration which 
greeted Mr. Grummer, as he headed the cavalcade, staff in hand ; loud 
and long were the shouts which were raised by the unsoaped ; and 
amidst these united testimonials of public approbation, the procession 
moved slowly and majestically along. 

Mr. Weller, habited in his morning jacket with the black calico 
sleeves, was returning in a rather desponding state from an unsuccessful 
survey of the mysterious house with the green gate, when, raising his 
eyes, he beheld a crowd pouring down the street, surrounding an object 
which had very much the appearance of a sedan-chair. Willing to divert 
his thoughts from the failure of his enterprise, he stepped aside to see 
the crowd pass ; and finding that they were cheering away, very much 
to their own satisfaction, forthwith began (just by way of raising his 
spirits) to cheer too, with all his might and main. 

Mr. Grummer passed, and Mr. Dubbley passed, and the sedan passed, 
and the body-guard of specials passed, and Sam was still responding to 
the enthusiastic cheers of the mob, and waving his hat about as if he 
were in the very last extreme of the wildest joy (though of course he had 
not the faintest idea of the matter in hand), when he was suddenly stopped 
by the unexpected appearance of Mr. Winkle and Mr. Snodgrass. 

" What's the row, genl'm'n ? " cried Sam, " Who have they got in 
this here watch-box in mournin' ? " 

Both gentlemen repHed together, but their words were lost in the 

" Who is it ? " roared Sam again. 

Once more was a joint reply returned; and though the words were 
inaudible, Sam saw by the motion of the two pairs of lips that they had 
uttered the magic word " Pickwick." 

This was enough. In another minute Mr. Weller had made his way 
through the crowd, stopped the chairmen, and confronted the portly 



" Hallo, old genl'm*!!," said Sam, " Who have you got in this here 
con-wayance ? " 

" Stand back," said Mr. Grummer, whose dig-nity, like the dignity 
of a great many other men, had been wondrously augmented by a little 

" Knock him down, if he don't," said Mr. Dubbley. 

" I'm wery much obliged to you, old genl'm'n," replied Sam, " for 
consulting my conwenience, and I'm still more obliged to the other 
genl'ra'n who looks as if he'd just escaped from a giant's carrywan, for 
his wery 'ansome suggestion ; but I should perfer your givin' me a 
answer to my question, if it's all the same to you. How are you, 
Sir ? " This last observation was addressed with a patronising air to 
Mr. Pickwick, who was peeping through the front window. 

Mr. Grummer, perfectly speechless with indignation, dragged the 
truncheon with the brass crown, from its particular pocket, and flourished 
it before Sam's eyes. 

" Ah," said Sam, " it's wery pretty, 'specially the crown, which is 
uncommon like the real one." 

" Stand back," said the outraged Mr. Grummer. By way of adding 
force to the command, he thrust the brass emblem of royalty into Sam's 
neckcloth with one hand, and seized Sam's collar with the other, a 
compliment which Mr. Weller returned by knocking him down out of 
hand, having previously, with the utmost consideration, knocked down 
a chairman for him to lie upon. 

Whether Mr. Winkle was seized with a temporary attack of that 
species of insanity which originates in a sense of injury, or animated 
by this display of Mr. Weller's valour, is uncertain ; but certain it is, 
that he no sooner saw Mr. Grummer fall, than he made a terrific 
onslaught on a small boy who stood next him ; whereupon Mr. Snod- 
grass, in a truly christian spirit, and in order that he might take no one 
unawares, announced in a very loud tone that he was going to begin, 
and proceeded to take off his coat with the utmost deliberation. He 
was immediately surrounded and secured ; and it is but common justice 
both to him and Mr. Winkle to say, that they did not make the slightest 
attempt to rescue either themselves or Mr. Weller, who, after a most 
vigorous resistance, was overpowered by numbers, and taken prisoner. 
The procession then re-formed, the chairmen resumed their stations, 
and the march was re-commenced. 

Mr. Pickwick's indignation during the whole of this proceeding was 
beyond all bounds. He could just see Sam upsetting the specials, and 
flying about, in every direction, and that was all he could see, for the 
sedan doors wouldn't open, and the blinds wouldn't pull up. At length, 
with the assistance of Mr. Tupman, he managed to push open the roof; 
and mounting on the seat, and steadying himself as well as he could, 
by placing his hand on that gentleman's shoulder, Mr. Pickwick pro- 
ceeded to address the multitude ; to dwell upon the unjustifiable manner 
in which he had been treated ; and to call upon them to take notice that 
his servant had been first assaulted. And in this order they reached 
the Magistrate's house ; the chairmen trotting, the prisoners following] 
Mr. Pickwick oratorising, and the crowd shouting. 



/yfMje '^'Jl 




Violent was Mr. Weller's indignation as he was borne along-; 
numerous were the allusions to the personal appearance and demeanour 
of Mr. Grummer and his companion ; and valorous were the defiances 
to any six of the gentlemen present, in which he vented his dissatis- 
faction. Mr. Snodgrass and Mr. Winkle listened with gloomy respect 
to the torrent of eloquence which their leader poured forth, from the 
sedan chair, and the rapid course of which, not all Mr. Tupinan's 
earnest entreaties to have the lid of the vehicle closed, were able to 
check for an instant. But Mr. Weller's anger quickly gave way to 
curiosity, when the procession turned down the identical court-yard in 
which he had met with the runaway Job Trotter : and curiosity was 
exchanged for a feeling of the most gleeful astonishment, when the all- 
important Mr. Grummer, commanding the sedan -bearers to halt, 
advanced with dignified and portentous steps, to the very green gate 
from which Job Trotter had emerged, and gave a mighty pull at the 
bell-handle which hung at the side thereof. The ring was answered by 
a very smart and pretty-faced servant-girl, who, after holding up her 
hands in astonishment at the rebellious appearance of the prisoners, and 
the impassioned language of Mr. Pickwick, summoned Mr. Muzzle. 
Mr. Muzzle opened one-half of the carriage gate, to admit the sedan, 
the captured ones, and the specials ; and immediately slammed it in the 
faces of the mob, who, indignant at being excluded, and anxious to see 
what followed, relieved their feelings by kicking at the gate and ringing 
the bell, for an hour or two afterwards. In this amusement they all 
took part by turns, except three or four fortunate individuals, who 
having discovered a grating in the gate which commanded a view of 
nothing, were staring through it, with the same indefatigable perseve- 
rance with which people will flatten their noses against the front 
widows of a chemist's shop, when a dninken man, who has been run 
over by a dog-cart in the street, is undergoing a surgical inspection in 
the back -parlour. 

At the foot of a flight of steps, leading to the house door, which were 
guarded on either side by an American aloe in a green tub, the sedan- 
chair stopped ; and Mr. Pickwick and his friends were conducted into 
the hall, from whence, having been previously announced by Muzzle, 
and ordered in by Mr. Nupkins, they were ushered into the worshipful 
presence of that public-spirited oflBcer. 

The scene was an impressive one, well calculated to strike terror to 



the hearts of culprits, and to impress them with an adequate idea of the 
stern majesty of the law. In front of a big- book-case, in a big- chair, 
behind a big table, and before a big- volume, sat Mr. Nupkins, looking 
a full size larger than any one of them, big as they were. The table 
was adorned with piles of papers : and above the further end of it, ap- 
peared the head and shoulders of Mr. Jinks, who was busily eng-aged 
in looking as busy as possible. The party having all entered, Muzzle 
carefully closed the door, and placed himself behind his master's chair 
to await his orders ; Mr. Nupkins threw himself back, with thrilling 
solemnity, and scrutinised the faces of his unwilling visiters. 

" Now, Grummer, who is that person?" said Mr. Nupkins, pointing 
to Mr. Pickwick, who, as the spokesman of his friends, stood hat in 
hand, bowing with the utmost politeness and respect. 

" This here's Pickvick, your wash-up," said Grummer. 

" Come, none o' that 'ere, old Strike-a-light," interposed Mr. Weller, 
elbowing himself into the front rank — " Beg your pardon, Sir, but this 
here officer o' yourn in the gambooge tops, 'uU never earn a decent livin* 
as a master o' the ceremonies any vere. This here, Sir," continued 
Mr. Weller, thrusting Grummer aside, and addressing the Magistrate with 
pleasant familiarity — " This here is S. Pickvick, Esquire ; this here's 
Mr. Tupman ; that 'ere's Mr. Snodgrass ; and furder on, next him on 
the t'other side, Mr. Winkle — ^all wery nice genl'm'n. Sir, as you'll be 
wery happy to have the acquaintance on ; so the sooner you commits 
these here officers o* yourn to the tread-mill for a month or two, the 
sooner we shall begin to be on a pleasant understanding. Business 
first, pleasure arterwards, as King Richard the Third said ven he stabbed 
the t'other king in the Tower, afore he smothered the babbies." 

At the conclusion of this address, Mr. Weller brushed his hat with 
his right elbow, and nodded benignly to Jinks, who had heard him 
throughout, with unspeakable awe. 

*' Who is this man, Grummer ? " said the magistrate. 

" Wery desp'rate ch'racter, your wash-up," replied Grummer. " He 
attempted to rescue the prisoners, and assaulted the officers — so we 
took him into custody, and brought him here." 

*' You did quite right," replied the magistrate. " He is evidently a 
desperate ruffian." 

*' He is my servant. Sir," said Mr. Pickwick, angrily. 

** Oh I he is your servant, is he ? " said Mr. Nupkins. '* A conspi- 
racy to defeat the ends of justice, and murder its officers. Pickwick's 
servant. Put that down, Mr. Jinks." 

Mr. Jinks did so. 

*' What's your name, fellow ? " thundered Mr. Nupkins. 

" Veller," replied Sam. 
. " A very good name for the Newgate Calendar," said Mr. Nupkins. 

This was a joke ; so Jinks, Grummer, Dubbley, all the specials, and 
Muzzle, went into fits of laughter of five minutes' duration. 

" Put down his name, Mr. Jinks," said the magistrate. 

** Two L's, old feller," said Sam. 

Here an unfortunate special laughed again, whereupon the magistrate 


threatened to commit him, instantly. It's a dangerous thing laughing 
at the wrong man, in these cases. 

" Where do you live? " said the magistrate. 
'• Vare-ever I can," replied Sam. 

" Put down that, Mr. Jinks," said the magistrate, who was fast rising 
into a rage. 

" Score it under," said Sam. 

'* He is a vagabond, Mr. Jinks," said the magistrate. ** He is a vaga- 
bond on his own statement, is he not, Mr. Jinks ? " 
" Certainly, Sir." 

'' Then 1 11 commit him — I'll commit him, as such," said Mr. 

" This is a wery impartial country for justice," said Sam. " There 
ain't a magistrate going, as don't commit himself, twice as often as he 
commits other people.'* 

At this sally another special laughed, and then tried to look so super- 
naturally solemn, that the magistrate detected him immediately. 

" Grummer," said Mr. Nupkins, reddening with passion, " how dare 
you select such an inefficient and disreputable person for a special con- 
table, as that man ? How dare you do it, Sir ? " 

" J am very sorry, your wash-up," stammered Grummer. 
" Very sorry I " said the furious magistrate. " You shall repent of 
this neglect of duty, Mr. Grummer ; you shall be made an example of. 
Take that fellow's staff away. He's drunk. You're drunk, fellow." 
" I am not drunk, your worship," said the man. 
" You are drunk," returned the magistrate. " How dare you say 
you are not drunk, Sir, when 1 say you are ? Doesn't he smell of 
spirits, Grummer? " 

" Horrid, your wash-up," replied Grumraer, who had a vague im- 
pression that there was a smell of rum somewhere. 

'' I knew he did," said Mr. Nupkins. " I saw he was drunk when he 
first came into the room, by his excited eye. Did you observe his 
excited eye, Mr. Jinks ? " 
" Certainly, Sir." 

*' I haven't touched a drop of spirits this morning," said the man, who 
was as sober a fellow as need be. 

" How dare you tell me a falsehood ? " said Mr. Nupkins. " Is n't 
he drunk at this moment, Mr. Jinks ? " 
** Certainly, Sir," replied Jinks. 

" Mr. Jinks," said the magistrate, *' I shall commit that man, for 
contempt. Make out his committal, Mr. Jinks." 

And committed the special would have been, only Jinks, who was the 
magistrate's adviser, having had a legal education of three years in a 
country attorney's office, whispered the magistrate that he thought it 
wouldn't do ; so the magistrate made a speech, and said, that in consi- 
deration of the special's family, he would merely reprimand and discharge 
him. Accordingly, the special was abused vehemently for a quarter of 
an hour, and sent about his business : and Grummer, Dubbley, Muzzle, 


and all the other specials murmured their admiration of the magnanimity 
of Mr. Nupkins. 

" Now, Mr. Jinks," said the magistrate, '' swear Grummer.*' 

G rummer was sworn directly; but as Grummer wandered, and Mr. 
Nupkins' dinner was nearly ready, Mr. Nupkins cut the matter short, 
by putting leading questions to Grummer, which Grummer answered as 
nearly in the affirmative as he could. So the examination went off, all 
very smooth and comfortable ; and two assaults were proved against Mr. 
Waller, and a threat against Mr. Winkle, and a push against Mr. Snod- 
grass. And when all this was done to the magistrate's satisfaction, the 
magistrate and Mr. Jinks consulted in whispers. 

The consultation having lasted about ten minutes, Mr. Jinks retired 
to his end of the table ; and the magistrate, with a preparatory cough, 
drew himself up in his chair, and was proceeding to commence his 
address, when Mr. Pickwick interposed. 

" I beg your pardon, Sir, for interrupting you," said Mr. Pickwick ; 
'' but before you proceed to express, and act upon, any opinion you may 
have formed on the statements which have been made here, I must 
claim my right to be heard, so far as I am personally concerned." 

" Hold your tongue. Sir," said the magistrate, peremptorily. 

*' I must submit to you. Sir,"—- said Mr. Pickwick. 

" Hold your tongue, Sir," interposed the magistrate, " or I shall 
order an officer to remove you." 

" You may order your officers to do whatever you please. Sir," said 
Mr. Pickwick; " and I have no doubt, from the specimen I have had of 
the subordination preserved among them, that whatever you order, they 
will execute ; but I shall take the liberty, Sir, of claiming my right to 
be heard, until I am removed by force." 

" Pickvick and principle," exclaimed Mr. Weller, in a very audible 

" Sam, be quiet," said Mr. Pickwick. 

*' Dumb as a drum vith a hole in it," replied Sam. 

Mr. Nupkins looked at Mr. Pickwick with a gaze of intense astonish- 
ment, at his displaying such unwonted temerity ; and was apparently 
about to return a very angry reply, when Mr. Jinks pulled him by tiie 
sleeve, and whispered something in his ear. To this, the magistrate 
returned a half-audible answer, and then the whispering was renewed. 
Jinks was evidently remonstrating. 

At length the magistrate, gulping down with a very bad grace his 
disinclination to hear anything more, turned to Mr. Pickwick, and said 
sharply — " What do you want to say? " 

" First," said Mr. Pickwick, sending a look through his spectacles, 
under which even Nupkins quailed. " First, I wish to know what I 
and my friend have been brought here for ? " 

'< Must I tell him ? " whispered the magistrate to Jinks. 

" I think you had better. Sir," whispered Jinks to the magistrate. 

" An information has been sworn before me," said the magistrate, 
'"■ that it is apprehended you are going to fight a duel, and that the 


Other man, Tupman, is your aider and abettor in it. Therefore— eh, 
Mr. Jinks ? " 

" Certainly, Sir." 

" Therefore, I call upon you both, to — I think that's the course, Mr. 

•* Certainly, Sir." 

« To — to — what Mr. Jinks ? " said the magistrate, pettishly. 

« To find bail, Sir." 

" Yes. Therefore, I call upon you both — as I was about to say> 
when I was interrupted by ray clerk — to find bail." 

" Good bail," whispered Mr. Jinks. 

" I shall require g-ood bail," said the magistrate. 

" Town's-people," whispered Jinks. 

** They must be town's-people," said the magistrate. 

" Fifty pounds each," whispered Jinks, " and householders, of 

" I shall require two sureties of fifty pounds each," said the magis- 
trate aloud, with great dignity, "and they must be householders, of 

" But, bless my heart, Sir," said Mr. Pickwick, who, together with 
Mr. Tupman, was all amazement and indignation ; '' we are perfect 
strangers in this town. I have as little knowledge of any householders 
here, as I have intention of fighting a duel with any body." 

" I dare say," replied the magistrate, " I dare say— -don't you, Mr, 
Jinks ? " 

« Certainly, Sir." 

"Have you anything more to say? " inquired the magistrate. 

Mr. Pickwick had a great deal more to say, which he would no 
doubt have said, very little to his own advantage, or the magistrate's 
satisfaction, if he had not, the moment he ceased speaking, been pulled 
by the sleeve by Mr. Weller, with whom he was immediately engaged 
in so earnest a conversation, that he suffered the magistrate's inquiry 
to pass wholly unnoticed. Mr. Nupkins was not the man to ask a 
question of the kind twice over ; and so, with another preparatory cough, 
he proceeded, amidst the reverential and admiring silence of the con- 
stables, to pronounce his decision. 

He should fine Weller two pounds for the first assault, and three 
pounds for the second. He should fine Winkle two pounds, and 
Snodgrass one pound, besides requiring them to enter into their own 
recognizances to keep the peace towards all his Majesty's subjects, and 
especially towards his liege servant, Daniel Grummer. Pickwick and 
Tupman he had already held to bail. 

Immediately on the m-agistrate ceasing to speak, Mr. Pickwick., with 
a smile mantling on his again-good-humoured countenance, stepped 
forward, and said — 

" I beg the magistrate's pardon, but may I request a few minutes* 
private conversation with him, on a matter of deep importance to 

" What 1" said the magistrate. 




Mr. Pickwick repeated his request. 

" This is a most extraordinary request," said the magistrate — " A 
private interview !" 

" A private interview," replied Mr. Pickwick, firmly ; « only as a 
part of the information which I wish to communicate is derived from 
my servant, I should wish him to be present." 

The magistrate looked at Mr. Jinks, Mr. Jinks looked at the 
magistrate, and the officers looked at each other in amazement. Mr. 
Nupkins turned suddenly pale. Could the man Weller, in a moment 
of remorse, have divulged some secret conspiracy for his assassination ? 
It was a dreadful thought. He was a public man ; and he turned paler, 
as he thought of Julius Caesar and Mr. Perceval. 

The magistrate looked at Mr. Pickwick again, and beckoned Mr. 

" What do you think of this request, Mr. Jinks ?" murmured Mr. 

Mr. Jinks, who didn't exactly know what to think of it, and was 
afraid he might offend, smiled feebly, after a dubious fashion, and, 
screwing up the corners of his mouth, shook his head slowly from side 
to side. 

" Mr. Jinks," said the magistrate, gravely, " you are an ass. Sir." 

At this little expression of opinion, Mr. Jink$ smiled again — rather 
more feebly than before — and edged himself, by degrees, back into his 
own corner. 

Mr. Nupkins debated the matter within himself for a few seconds, 
and then, rising from his chair, and requesting Mr. Pickwick and Sam 
to follow him, led the way into a small room which opened into the 
justice parlour. Desiring Mr. Pickwick to walk to the further end of 
the little apartment, and holding his hand upon the half-closed door, 
that he might be able to effect an immediate escape, in case there was 
the least tendency to a display of hostilities, Mr. Nupkins expressed 
his readiness to hear the communication, whatever it might be. 

*' I will come to the point at once, Sir," said Mr. Pickwick, ^' it 
affects yourself, and your credit, materially. I have every reason to 
believe. Sir, that you are harbouring in your house, a gross impostor ! " 

" Two," interrupted Sam, " Mulberry agin all natur, for tears and 

" Sam," said Mr. Pickwick, " if I am to render myself intelligible to 
this gentleman, I must beg you to controul your feelings." 

•' Wery sorry. Sir," Feplied Mr. Weller ; " but when I think o' that 
'ere Job, I can't help opening the waive a inch or two." 

" In one word. Sir," said Mr. Pickwick, " is my servant right in sus- 
pecting that a certain Captain Fitz-Marshall is in the habit of visiting 
here ? Because," added Mr. Pickwick, as he saw that Mr. Nupkins 
was about to offer a very indignant interruption — " because, if he be, I 
know that person to be a — " 

" Hush, hush," said Mr. Nupkins, closing the door. " Know him 
to be what. Sir?" 

*' An unprincipled adventurer — a dishonourable character — a man 



who preys upon society, and niak(fs easily-deceived people his dupes, 
Sir; his absurd, his ibohsh, his wretched dupes, Sir," said the excited 
Mr. Pickwick. 

" Dear me," said Mr. Nupkins, colouring up very red, and altering^ 
his whole manner directly. " Dear me, Mr. — " 

" Pickvick," said Sam. 

" Pickwick," said the Magistrate, *' dear me, Mr. Pickwick — pray 
take a seat — you cannot mean this ? Captain Fitz-Marshall I " 

" Don't call him a cap'en," said Sam, " nor Fitz-Marshall neither; 
he ain't neither one nor t'other. He's a strolling actor, he is, and his 
name's Jingle ; and if ever (here was a wolf in a mulberry suit, that ere 
Job Trotter's him." 

*' It is very true. Sir," said Mr. Pickwick, replying to the magistrate's 
look of amazement ; " my only business in this town, is to expose the 
person of whom we now speak." 

And Mr. Pickwick proceeded to pour into the horror-stricken ear of 
Mr. Nupkins, an abridged account of all Mr. Jingle's atrocities. He 
related how he had first met him, how he had eloped with Miss Wardle, 
how he had cheerfully resigned the lady for a pecuniary consideration, 
how he had entrapped him into a lady's boarding-school at midnight, 
and how he (Mr. Pickwick) now felt it his duty to expose his assump- 
tion of his present name and rank. 

As the narrative proceeded, all the warm blood in the body of Mr. 
Nupkins tingled up into the very tips of his ears. He had picked up 
the captain at a neighbouring race-course. Charmed with his long list 
of aristocratic acquaintance, his extensive travel, and his fashionable 
demeanour, Mrs. Nupkins and Miss Nupkins had exhibited Captain 
Fitz-Marshall, and quoted Captain Fitz-Marshall, and hurled Captain 
Fitz-Marshall at the devoted heads of their select circle of acquaintance, 
until their bosom friends, Mrs. Porkenham and the Miss Porkenhams, 
and Mr. Sidney Porkenham, were ready to burst with jealousy and 
despair. And now, to hear after all, that he was a needy adventurer, a 
strolling player, and if not a swindler, something so very like it, that it 
was hard to tell the difference ! Heavens ! what would the Porkenhams 
say ! What would be the triumph of Mr. Sidney Porkenham when he 
found that his addresses had been slighted for such a rival ! How should 
he meet the eye of old Porkenham at the next Quarter Sessions ! — and 
what a handle would it be for the opposition magisterial party, if the 
story got abroad ! 

" But after all," said Mr. Nupkins, brightening up for a moment, 
after a long pause ; " after all, this is a mere statement. Captain Fitz- 
Marshall is a man of very engaging manners, — and, I dare say, has 
many enemies. What proof have you, of the truth of these represent- 

" Confront me with him," said Mr. Pickwick, " that is all I ask, and 
all I require. Confront him with me, and ray friends here ; you will 
want no further proof." 

" Why," said Mr. Nupkins, " that might be very easily done, for 
he will be here to-night, and then there would be no occasion to make 



the matter public, just— just — for the young man's own sake, you know. 
I — I — should like to consult Mrs. Nupkins on the propriety of the step, 
in the first instance, though. At all events, Mr. Pickwick, we must 
despatch this legal business before we can do anything else. Pray step 
back into the next room." 

Into the next room they went. 

" Grummer," said the magistrate, in an awful voice. 

«' Your wash-up," replied Grummer, with the smile of a favourite. 

«' Come, come, Sir," said the magistrate, sternly, " don't let me see 
any of this levity here. It is very unbecoming, and I can assure you 
that you have very little to smile at. Was the account you gave me 
just now, strictly true ? Now be careful. Sir." 

" Your wash-up," stammered Grummer, " I — " 

** Oh, you are confused, are you ?" said the magistrate. " Mr. Jinks, 
you observe this confusion ?" 

" Certainly, Sir," replied Jinks. 

" Now," said the magistrate, "just repeat your statement, Grummer, 
and again I warn you to be careful. Mr. Jinks, take his words down." 

The unfortunate Grummer proceeded to re-state his complaint, but, 
what between Mr. Jinks's taking down his words, and the magistrate's 
taking them up ; his natural tendency to rambling, and his extreme 
confusion, he managed to get involved, in something under three 
minutes, in such a mass of entanglement and contradiction, that Mr. 
Nupkins at once declared he didn't believe him. So the lines were 
remitted, and Mr. Jinks found a couple of bail in no time. And all 
these solemn proceedings having been satisfactorily concluded, Mr. 
Grummer was ignominiously ordered out — an awful instance of the 
instability of human greatness, and the uncertain tenure of great men's 

Mrs. Nupkins was a majestic female in a blue gauze turban and a 
light brown wig. Miss Nupkins possessed all her mamma's haughtiness 
without the turban, and all her ill-nature without the wig ; and when- 
ever the exercise of these two amiable qualities involved mother and 
daughter in some unpleasant dilemma, as they not unfrequently did, 
they both concurred in laying the blame on the shoulders of Mr. Nup- 
kins. Accordingly, when Mr. Nupkins sought Mrs. Nupkins, and 
detailed the communication which had been made by Mr. Pickwick, 
Mrs. Nupkins suddenly recollected that she had always expected some- 
thing of the kind ; that she "had always said it would be so ; that her 
advice was never taken ; that she really did not know what Mr. Nupkins 
supposed she was; and so forth. 

" The idea!" said Miss Nupkins, forcing a tear of very scanty 
proportions, into the corner of each eye, " the idea of my being made 
such a fool of!" 

" Ah ! you may thank your papa, my dear," gaid Mrs. Nupkins ; 
" how I have implored and begged that man to inquire into the Cap- 
tain's family connections ; how I have urged and entreated him to take 
some decisive step ! I am quite certain nobody would believe it — 


" But, my dear," said Mr. Nupkins. 

" Don't talk to me, you aggravating^ thing, don't," said Mrs. 

" My love," said Mr. Nupkins, " you professed yourself very fond 
of Captain Fitz-Marshall. You have constantly asked him here, my 
dear, and you have lost no opportunity of introducing him elsewhere." 

" Didn't I say so, Henrietta?" said Mrs. Nupkins, appealing to her 
daughter with the air of a much-injured female — " Didn't I say that 
your papa would turn round, and lay all this, at my door? Didn't I say 
60?" Here Mrs. Nupkins sobbed. 

" Oh pa ! " remonstrated Miss Nupkins. And here she sobbed too. 

" Isn't it too much, when he has brought all this disgrace and ridi- 
cule upon us, for him to taunt me with being the cause of it?" exclaimed 
Mrs. Nupkins. 

" How can we ever shew ourselves in society!" said Miss Nupkins. 

" How can we face the Porkenhams ! " said Mrs. Nupkins. 

" Or the Griggs's !'* said Miss Nupkins. 

** Or the Slummintowkens ! " said Mrs. Nupkins. " But what does 
your papa care I What is it to him!" At this dreadful reflection, 
Mrs. Nupkins wept with mental anguish, and Miss Nupkins followed 
on the same side. 

Mrs. Nupkins's tears continued to gush forth, with great velocity, 
until she had gained a little time to think the matter over, when she 
decided in her own mind, that the best thing to do, would be to ask 
Mr. Pickwick and his friends to remain until the Captain's arrival, and 
then to give Mr. Pickwick the opportunity he sought. If it appeared 
that he had spoken truly-, the Captain could be turned out of the house 
without noising the matter abroad, and they could easily account to the 
Porkenhams for his disappearance, by saying that he had been appointed, 
through the Court influence of his family, to the Governor-Generalship 
of Sierra Leone, or Sangur Point, or any other of those salubrious 
climates which enchant Europeans so much, that, when they once get 
there, they can hardly ever prevail upon themselves to come back 

When Mrs. Nupkins dried up her tears, Miss Nupkins dried up 
Aer'j, and Mr. Nupkins was very glad to settle the matter as Mrs. 
Nupkins had proposed. So Mr. Pickwick and his friends, having 
washed ofi" all marks of their late encounter, were introduced to the 
ladies, and soon afterwards to their dinner ; and Mr. Weller, whom the 
magistrate with his peculiar sagacity, had discovered in half an hour to 
be one of the finest fellows alive, was consigned to the care and guardian- 
ship of Mr. Muzzle, who was specially enjoined to take him below^ and 
make much of him. 

" How de do. Sir?" said Mr. Muzzle, as he conducted Mr. Weller 
down the kitchen stairs. 

" Why, no con-siderable change has taken place in the state of my 
system, since I see you cocked up behind your governor's chair in the 
j>arlour, a little vile ago," replied Sam. 
~ " You will excuse my not taking more notice of youthen," said Mr. 



Muzzle. *' You see, master hadn't introduced us, then. Lord, how 
fond he is of you, Mr. Weller, to be sure ! " 

" Ah," said Sara, " what a pleasant chap he is I" 

" Ain't he?" replied Mr. Muzzle. 

" So much humour," said Sam. 

" And such a man to speak," said Mr. Muzzle. " How his ideas 
flow, don't they ?" 

" Wonderful," replied Sara ; " they coraes a pouring out, knocking 
each other's heads so fast, that they seems to stun one another ; you 
hardly know what he's arter, do you?" 

" That's the great merit of his style of speaking," rejoined Mr. 
Muzzle. " Take care of the last step, Mr. Weller. Would you like 
to wash your hands. Sir, before we join the ladies ? Here's a sink, with 
the water laid on, Sir, and a clean jack towel behind the door." 

*' Ah, perhaps I may as vel have a rinse," replied Mr. Weller, 
applying plenty of yellow soap to the towel, and rubbing away, till his 
face shone again. " How many ladies are there ? " 

" Only two in our kitchen," said Mr. Muzzle, " cook and 'ousemaid. 
We keep a boy to do the dirty work, and a gal besides, but they dine 
in the washus." 

" Oh, they dines in the washus, do they ? " said Mr. Weller. 

" Yes," replied Mr. Muzzle, " we tried 'em at our table when they 
first come, but we couldn't keep 'em. The gal's manners is dreadful 
vulgar ; and the boy breathes so very hard while he's eating, that we 
found it impossible to sit at table with him." 

" What a young grampus ! " said Mr. Weller. 

" Oh, dreadful," rejoined Mr. Muzzle ; " but that is the worst of 
country service, Mr. Weller; the juniors is always so very savage. 
This way. Sir, if you please — this way." 

And preceding Mr. Weller, with the utmost politeness, Mr. Muzzle 
conducted him into the kitchen. 

"' Mary," said Mr. Muzzle to the pretty servant-girl, " this is Mr. 
Weller, a gentleman as master has sent down, to be made as comfort- 
able as possible." 

*' And your master's a knowin' hand — and has just sent me to the 
right place," said Mr. Weller, with a glance of admiration at Mary. 
** If I was master o' this here house, I should alvays find the materials 
for comfort vere Mary vas. ' 

" Lor, Mr. Weller ! " said Mary, blushing. 

" Well, I never I " ejaculated the cook. 

" Bless me, cook, I forgot you," said Mr. Muzzle. '' Mr. Weller, 
let me introduce you." 

" How are you. Ma'am," said Mr. Weller. " Wery glad to see you, 
indeed ; and hope our acquaintance may be a long 'un, as the gen'lm'n 
said to the fi' pun' note." 

When this ceremony of introduction had been gone through, the 
cook and Mary retired into the back kitchen to titter for ten minutes ; 
and then returning, all giggles and blushes, they sat down to dinner. 

Mr. Weller's easy manner and conversational powers had such irre 

'»-',% >or 

yOOft^ 265 


sistible influence with his new friends, that before the dinner was half 
over, they were on a footing of perfect intimacy, and in possession of a 
full account of the delinquency of Job Trotter. 

*' I never could a-bear that Job," said Mary. 

" No more you never ought to, my dear,' replied Mr. Weller. 

*' Why not ? " inquired Mary. 

" Cos ugliness and svindlin' never ought to be formiliar vith elegance 
^nd wirtew," replied Mr. Weller. " Ought they, Mr. Muzzle? " 

*' Not by no means," replied that gentleman. 

Here Mary laughed, and said the cook had made her ; and the cook 
laughed, and said she hadn't. 

*^ I han't got a glass," said Mary. 

" Drink vith me, my dear," said Mr. Weller. " Put your lips to 
this here tumbler, and then I can kiss you by deputy." 

" For shame, Mr. Weller," said Mary. 

" What's a shame, my dear ? " 

** Talkin' in that way." 

" Nonsense ; it ain't no harm. It's natur ; ain't it, cook ? " 

'* Don't ask me imperence," replied the cook, in a high state of 
delight: and hereupon the cook and Mary laughed again, till what 
between the beer, and the cold meat, and the laughter combined, the 
latter young lady was brought to the verge of choaking — an alarming 
crisis from which she was only recovered by sundry pats of the back, and 
other necessary attentions, most delicately administered by Mr. Samuel 

In the midst of all this jollity and conviviality, a loud ring was heard 
at the garden-gate, to which the young gentleman who took his meals 
in the wash-house, immediately responded. Mr. Weller was in the 
height of his attentions to the pretty housemaid ; Mr. Muzzle was busy 
doing the honours of the table ; and the cook had just paused to laugh, 
in the very act of raising a huge morsel to her lips, when the kitchen- 
door opened, and in walked Mr. Job Trotter. 

We have said in walked Mr. Job Trotter, but the statement is not 
distinguished by our usual scrupulous adherence to fact. The door 
opened, and Mr. Trotter appeared. He would have walked in, and was 
in the very act of doing so indeed, when catching sight of Mr. W^eller, 
he involuntarily shrunk back a pace or two, and stood gazing on the 
unexpected scene before him, perfectly motionless with amazement and 

*'Here he is," said Sam, rising with great glee. *'Why we were that 
wery moment a speaking o' you. How are you ? Vere have you been ? 
Come in." 

And laying his hand on the mulberry collar of the unresisting Job, 
Mr. Weller dragged him into the kitchen ; and locking the door, handed 
the key to Mr. Muzzle, who very coolly buttoned it up, in a side- 

" Well, here's a game," cried Sam. " Only think o* my master 
havin' the pleasure o' meeting your'n, up stairs, and me havin'the joy o' 
meetin' you down here. How are you gettin' on, and how is the 


chandlery bis'ness likely to do? Vel, I am so g-lad to see you. How happy 
you look. It's quite a treat to see you, ain't it, Mr. Muzzle ? " 

** Quite," said Mr. Muzzle. 

" So cheerful he is," said Sam. 

** In such good spirits," said Muzzle. 

'* And so glad to see ns — that makes it so much more comfortable," 
said Sam. " Sit down ; sit down." 

Mr. Trotter suffered himself to be forced into a chair by the fireside. 
He cast his small eyes first on Mr. Weller, and then on Mr. Muzzle, 
but said nothing. 

" Well, now," said Sam, " afore these here ladies, I should just like 
to ask you, as a sort of curiosity, vether you don't con-sider yourself as 
nice and veil-behaved a young gen'lm'n as ever used a pink check 
pocket-handkerchief, and the number four collection ? " 

" And as was ever a-going to be married to a cook," said that lady, 
indignantly, " The willin I " 

*' And leave off his evil ways, and set up in the chandlery line, arter- 
wards," said the house -maid. 

" Now, I'll tell you what it is, young man," said Mr. Muzzle, 
solemnly, enraged at the last two allusions, " this here lady (pointing 
to the cook) keeps company with me ; and when you presume. Sir, to 
talk of keeping chandlers' shops with her, you injure me in one of the 
most delicatest points in which one man can injure another. Do you 
understand that. Sir ? " 

Here Mr. Muzzle, who had a great notion of his eloquence, in which 
he imitated his master, paused for a reply. 

But Mr. Trotter made no reply. So Mr. Muzzle proceeded in a 
solemn manner — 

" It's veiy probable. Sir, that you won't be wanted up stairs for 
several minutes. Sir, because mj/ master is at this moment particularly 
engaged in settling the hash of j/owr master. Sir ; and therefore you'll 
have leisure. Sir, for a little private talk with me. Sir. Do you under- 
stand that, Sir ? " 

Mr. Muzzle again paused for a reply ; and again Mr. Trotter disap- 
pointed him. 

" Well, then," said Mr. Muzale, *' I'm very sorry to have to explain 
myself before the ladies, but the urgency of the case will be my excuse. 
The back kitchen's empty, Sir ; if you will step in there, Sir, Mr. 
Weller will see fair, and we can have mutual satisfaction 'till the bell 
rings. Follow me, Sir." 

As Mr. Muzzle uttered these words, he took a step or two towards 
the door ; and by way of saving time, began to pull off his coat as he 
walked along. 

Now the cook no sooner heard the concluding words of this desperate 
challenge, and saw Mr. Muzzle about to put it into execution, than she 
uttered a loud and piercing shriek ; and rushing on Mr. Job Trotter, 
who rose from his chair on the instant, tore and buffeted his large flat 
face, with an energy peculiar to excited females, and twining her hands 
in his long black hair, tore therefrom about enough to make five or six 


do»en of the very largest-sized mourning-ring-s. Having accomplished 
this feat with all the ardour which her devoted love for Mr. Muzzle 
inspired, she staggered back ; and being a lady of very excitable and 
delicate feelings, instantly fell under the dresser, and fainted away. 

At this moment, the bell rang. 

" That's for you. Job Trotter," said Sam ; and before Mr. Trotter 
could offer remonstrance or reply — even before he had time to stanch 
the wounds inflicted by the insensible lady — Sam seized one arm and 
Mr. Muzzle the other ; and one pulling before, and the other pushing 
behind, they conveyed him up stairs, and into the parlour. 

It was an impressive tableau. Alfred Jingle, Esquire, alias Captain 
Fitz-Marshall, was standing near the door with his hat in his hand, and 
a smile on his face, wholly unmoved by his very unpleasant situation. 
Confronting him, stood Mr.Pickwick, who had evidently been inculcating 
some high moral lesson, for his left hand was beneath his coat tail, and 
his right extended in air, as was his wont when delivering himself of an 
impressive address. At a little distance stood Mr. Tupman with indig- 
nant countenance, carefully held back by his two younger friends; and 
at the further end of the room were Mr. Nupkins, Mrs. Nupkius, and 
Miss Nupkins, gloomily grand, and savagely vexed. 

" What prevents me," said Mr. Nupkins, with magisterial dignity, as 
Job was brought in — " what prevents me from detaining these men as 
rogues and impostors ? It is a foolish mercy. What prevents me ? " 

" Pride, old fellow, pride," replied Jingle, quite at his ease. " Wouldn't 
do — no go — caught a captain, eh ? — ha I ha I very good — husbtrnd for 
daughter — biter bit — make it public — not for worlds — look 8tupid — 
very I " 

*' Wretch," said Mrs. Nupkins, " we scorn your base insinuations." 

" I always hated him," added Henrietta. 

" Oh, of course," said Jingle. " Tall young man— old lover — Sidney 
Porkenham — rich — fine fellow — not so rich as captain,though,eh ? — turn 
him away — off with him — anything for captain — nothing like captain 
anywhere — all the girls — raving mad — eh, Job, eh ? " 

Here Mr. Jingle laughed very heartily ; and Job, rubbing his hands 
with delight, uttered the first sound he had given vent to, since he 
entered the honse — a low noiseless chuckle, which seemed to intimate 
that he enjoyed his laugh too much, to let any of it escape in sound. 

" Mr. Nupkins," said the elder lady, *' this is not a fit conversation 
for the servants to overhear. Let these wretches be removed." 

" Certainly, my dear," said Mr. Nupkins. " Muzzle." 

" Your worship." 

" Open the front door." 

" Yes, your worship." 

" Leave the house," said Mr. Nupkins, waving his hand emphatically. 

Jingle smiled, and moved towards the door. 

" Stay," said Mr. Pickwick. 

Jingle stopped, 

" I might," said Mr. Pickwick, *' have taken a much greater revenge 
for the treatment I have experienced at your hands, and that of your 
hypocritical friend there." 

268 rosTHUMOus papers of 

Here Job Trotter bowed with great politeness, and laid his hand 
upon his heart. 

" I say," said Mr. Pickwick, growing gradually angry, '^ that I might 
have taken a greater revenge, but I content myself with exposing you, 
which I consider a duty I owe to society. This is a leniency, Sir, which 
I hope you will remember." 

When Mr. Pickwick arrived at this point. Job Trotter, with facetious 
gravity, applied his hand to his ear, as if desirous not to lose a syllable 
he uttered. 

" And I have only to add. Sir," said Mr. Pickwick, now thoroughly 
angry, " that I consider you a rascal, and a — a rufBan — and — and worse 
than any man I ever saw, qr heard of, except that very pious and sancti- 
fied vagabond in the mulberry livery." 

" Ha ! ha ! " said Jingle, " good fellow, Pickwick — fine heart — stout 
old boy — but must not be passionate — bad thing, very — bye, bye — see 
you again some day — keep up your spirits — now Job — trot." 

With these words, Mr. Jingle stuck on his hat in his old fashion, 
and strode out of the room. Job Trotter paused, looked round, smiled, 
and then with a bow of mock solemnity to Mr. Pickwick, and a wink to 
Mr, Weller, the audacious slyness of which, baffles all description, fol- 
lowed the footsteps of his hopeful master. 

" Sam," said Mr. Pickwick, as Mr. Weller was following. 

<^ Sir." 
■ " Stay here." 

\ Mr. Weller seemed uncertain. 
- -" Stay here," repeated Mr. Pickwick. 

** Mayn't I polish that ere Job off, in the front garden } *' said Mr. 

'^ Certainly not," replied Mr. Pickwick. 

" Mayn't I kick him out o' the gate. Sir? " said Mr. Weller. 

*' Not on any account," replied his master. 

For the first time since his engagement, Mr. Weller looked, for a 
moment, discontented and unhappy. But his countenance immediately 
cleared up, for the wily Mr. Muzzle, by concealing himself behind the 
street door, and rushing violently out, at the right instant, contrived 
with great dexterity to overturn both Mr. Jingle and his attendant, 
down the flight of steps, into the American aloe tubs that stood beneath. 

" Having discharged my duty, Sir," said Mr. Pickwick to Mr. Nup- 
kins, " I will, with my friends, bid you farewell. While we thank you 
for such hospitality as wo have received, permit me to assure you in our 
joint names that we should not have accepted it, or consented to extri- 
cate ourselves in this way, from our previous dilemma, had we not been 
impelled by a strong sense of duty. We return to London to-morrow. 
Your secret is safe with us." 

Having thus entered his protest against their treatment of the morn- 
ing, Mr. Pickwick bowed low to the ladies ; and notwithstanding the 
solicitations of the family, left the room with his friends. 

" Get your hat, Sam," said Mr. Pickwick. 

" It's below stairs. Sir," said Sam, and he ran down after it. 

Now there was nobody in the kitchen, but the pretty housemaid; and 



as Sam's hat was mislaid, he had to look for it, and the pretty housemaid 
lig-hted him. They had to look all over the place for the hat ; and the 
pretty housemaid, in her anxiety to find it, went down on her knees, 
and turned over all the things that were heaped together in a little 
corner by the door. It was an awkward corner. You couldn't get at it 
without shutting the door first. 

*• Here it is," said the pretty housemaid. " This is it, ain't it ? " 

" Let me look," said Sam. 

The pretty housemaid had stood the candle on the floor; and as it 
gave a very dim light, Sam was obliged to go down on his knees before 
he could see whether it really was his own hat or not. It was a remark- 
ably small corner, and so — it was nobody's fault but the man's who 
built the house — Sam and the pretty housemaid were necessarily very 
close together. 

" Yes, this is it," said Sara. " Good bye '^ 

" Good bye," said the pretty housemaid. 

" Good bye," said Sam ; and as he said it, he dropped the hat that 
had cost so much trouble looking for. 

" How awkward you are," said the pretty housemaid. " You'll lose it 
again, if you don't take care." 

So just to prevent his losing it again, she put it on for him. 

Whether it was that the pretty housemaid's face looked prettier still, 
when it was raised towards Sam's, or whether it was the accidental 
consequence of their being so near each other, is matter of uncertainty 
to this day, but Sam kissed her. 

" You don't mean to say you did that on purpose," said the pretty 
housemaid, blushing. 

" No, I didn't then," said Sam ; '^ but I will now." 

So he kissed her again. 

" Sam," said Mr. Pickwick, calling over the bannisters. 

'* Coming, Sir," replied Sam, running up stairs. 

" How long you have been," said Mr. Pickwick. 

" There was something behind the door. Sir, which perwented our 
getting it open, for ever so long," replied Sam. 

And this was the first passage of Mr. Weller's first love. 



Having accomplished the main end and object of his journey by 
the exposure of Jingle, Mr. Pickwick resolved on immediately returning 
to London, with the view of becoming acquainted with the proceedings 
which had been taken against him, in the mean time, by Messrs. 
Dodson and Fogg. Acting upon this resolution with all the energy 


and decision of his character, he moiinteJ to the back seat of the 
first coach, which left Ipswich on the morning after the memorable 
occurrences detailed at length in the two preceding chapters; and 
accompanied by his three friends and Mr. Samuel Weller, arrived in 
the metropolis in perfect health and safety, the same evening. 

Here the friends for a short time separated. Messrs. Tupman, 
Winkle, and Snodgrass, repaired to their several homes to make such 
preparations as might be requisite for their forthcoming visit to Dingley 
Dell ; and Mr. Pickwick and Sam took up their present abode ift very 
good, old-fashioned, and comfortable quarters, to wit, the George and 
Vulture Tavern and Hotel, George Yard, Lombard Street. 

Mr. Pickwick had dined, finished his second pint of particular port, 
pulled his silk handkerchief over his head, put his feet on the fender, 
and thrown himself back in an easy chair, when the entrance ot 
Mr. Weller with his carpet bag, aroused him from his tranquil medi- 

" Sam," said Mr. Pickwick. 

" Sir," said Mr. Weller. 

" I have just been thinking, Sam," said Mr. Pickwick, " that 
having left a good many things at Mrs. Bardell's, in Goswell Street, I 
ought to arrange for taking them away, before I leave town again." 

" Wery good, Sir," replied Mr. Weller. 

*'• I could send them to Mr. Tupman's for the present, Sam," con- 
tinued Mr. Pickwick, " but, before we take them away, it is necessary 
that they should be looked up, and put together. I wish you would 
step up to Goswell Street, Sam, and arrange about it." 

" At once, Sir?" inquired Mr. Weller. 

*' At once," replied Mr. Pickwick. " And stay, Sam," added Mr. 
Pickwick, pulling out his purse, " There is some rent to pay. The 
quarter is not due till Christmas, but you may pay it, and have done 
with it. A month's notice terminates my tenancy. Here it is, written 
out. Give it, and tell Mrs. Bardell she may put a bill up, as soon as 
she likes." 

<' Wery good, Sir," replied Mr. Wellei ; " anythin* more. Sir?" 

" Nothing more, Sam." 

Mr. Weller stepped slowly to the door, as if he expected something 
further ; slowly opened it, slowly stepped out, and had slowly closed it 
within a couple of inches, when Mr. Pickwick called out — 

" Sam." 

" Yes, Sir," said Mr. Weller, stepping quickly back, and closing the 
door behind him. 

*' I have no objection, Sam, to your endeavouring to ascertain how 
Mrs. Bardell herself, seems disposed towards me, and whether it is 
really probable that this vile and groundless action is to be carried to 
extremity. I say I do not object to your doing this, if you wish it, 
Sam," said Mr. Pickwick. 

Sam gave a short nod of intelligence, and left the room. Mr. Pick- 
wick drew the silk handkerchief once more over his head, and composed 
himself for a nap ; Mr. Weller promptly walked forth, to execute his 


It was nearly nine o'clock when he reached Goswell Street. A 
couple of candles were burning in the little front parlour, and a couple 
of caps were reflected on the window-blind. Mrs. Bardell had got 

Mr. Weller knocked at the door, and after a pretty long interval — : 
occupied by the party without, in whistling a tune, and by the party 
within, in persuading a refractory flat candle to allow itself to be lighted 
— a pair of small boots pattered over the floor-cloth, and Master Bardell 
presented himself. 

"Veil, young townskip,'* said Sam, "how's mother?" 

" She's pretty well," replied Master Bardell, " so am I." 

" Veil, that's a mercy," said Sara ; " tell her I want to speak to her, 
my hinfant fernomenon." 

Master Bardell, thus adjured, placed the refractory flat candle on the 
bottom stair, and vanished into the front parlour with his message. 

The two caps reflected on the window-blind, were the respective 
head-dresses of a couple of Mrs. Bardell's most particular acquaintance, 
who had just stepped in, to have a quiet cup of tea, and a little warm 
supper of a couple of sets of pettitoes and some toasted cheese. The 
cheese was simmering and browning away, most delightfully, in a little 
Dutch oven before the fire, and the pettitoes were getting on deliciously 
in a little tin saucepan on the hob; and Mrs. Bardell and her two friends 
were getting on very well, also, in a little quiet conversation about and 
concerning all their particular friends and acquaintance, when Master 
Bardell came back from answering the door, and delivered the message 
entrusted to him by Mr. Samuel Weller. 

" Mr. Pickwick's servant ! " said Mrs. Bardell, turning pale. 

" Bless my soul I " said Mrs. Cluppins. 

" Well, I raly would not ha' believed it, unless I had ha' happened 
to ha' been here ! " said Mrs. Sanders. 

Mrs. Cluppins was a little brisk, busy-looking woman : and Mrs. 
Sanders was a big, fat, heavy-faced personage ; and the two were the 

Mrs. Bardell felt it proper to be agitated ; and as none of the three 
exactly knew whether, under existing circumstances, any communica- 
tion, otherwise than through Dodson and Fogg, ought to be held with 
Mr. Pickwick's servant, they were all rather taken by surprise. In this 
state of indecision, obviously the first thing to be done, was to thump 
the boy for finding Mr. Weller at the door. So his mother thumped 
him, and he cried melodiously. 

" Hold your noise — do — you naughty creetur," said Mrs. Bardell. 

** Yes; don't worrit your poor mother," said Mrs. Sanders. 

*' She's quite enough to worrit her, as it is, without you, Tommy," 
said Mrs. Cluppins, with sympathising resignation. 

" Ah I worse luck, poor lamb ! " said Mrs. Sanders. 

At all which moral reflections. Master Bardell howled the louder. 

'< Now, what shall I do ? " said Mrs. Bardell to Mrs. Cluppins. 

" / think you ought to see him," replied Mrs. Cluppins. " But on 
no account without a witness." 


" / think two witnesses would be more lawful," said Mrs. Senders, 
who, like the other friend, was bursting- with curiosity. 

'^ Perhaps, he'd better come in here," said Mrs. Bardell. 

" To be sure," replied Mrs. Cluppins, eagerly catching- at the idea — 
" Walk in, young- man ; and shut the street door first, please." 

Mr.Weller immediately took the hint ; and presenting himself in the 
parlour, explained his business to Mrs. Bardell, thus — 

" Wery sorry to 'casion any personal inconwenience, Ma'am, as the 
housebreaker said to the old lady vhen he put her on the fire; but as 
me and my governor's only just come to town, and is just going away 
agin, it can't be helped you see." 

" Of course, the young man can't help the faults of his master," said 
Mrs. Cluppins, much struck by Mr. Weller's appearance and conver- 

'^ Certainly not," chimed in Mrs. Sanders, who, from certain wistful 
glances at the little tin sauce-pan, seemed to be engaged in a mental 
calculation of the probable extent of the pettitoes, in the event of 
Sam's being asked to stop supper. 

" So all I've come about, is just this here," said Sam, disregarding 
the interruption-—" First, to give my governor's notice — there it is. 
Secondly, to pay the rent — here it is. Thirdly, to say as all his things 
is to be put together, and given to any body as we sends for 'em. 
Fourthly, that you may lee the place as soon as you like — and that's all." 

" Whatever has happened," said Mrs. Bardell, " I always have said 
and always will say, that in every respect but one, Mr. Pickwick has 
always behaved himself like a perfect gentleman. His money always 
was as good as the bank — always." 

As Mrs. Bardell said this, she applied her handkerchief to her eyes, 
and went out of the room to get the receipt. 

Sam well knew that he had only to remain quiet, and the women 
were sure to talk, so he looked alternately at the tin saucepan, the 
toasted cheese, the wall, and the ceiling, in profound silence. 

''■ Poor dear!" said Mrs. Cluppins. 

" Ah, poor thing!" replied Mrs. Sanders. 

Sara said nothing. He saw they were coming to the subject. 

" I raly cannot contain myself," said Mrs. Cluppins, " when I 
think of such perjury. I don't wish to say anything to make you 
uncomfortable, young man, but your master's an old brute, and I wish 
1 had him here to tell him so." 

" 1 vish you had," said Sam. 

*' To see how dreadful she takes on, going moping about, and taking 
no pleasure in nothing, except when her friends comes in, out of charity, 
to sit with her, and make her comfortable," resumed Mrs. Cluppins, 
glancing at the tin saucepan and the Dutch oven, " it's shocking." 

" Barbareous," said Mrs. Sanders. . 

*' And your master, young man, a gentleman with money, as could 
never feel the expense of a wife, no more than nothing," continued 
Mrs. Cluppins, with great volubility; " why there ain't the faintest 
s^hade of an excuse for his behaviour. Why don't he marry her?" 



" Ah," said Sam, " to be sure ; that's the question." 

" Question, indeed," retorted Mrs. CUippins; "she'd question him, 
if she'd my spirit. Hows'ever, there is haw for us women, mis'rable 
creeturs as they'd make us, if they could; and that your master will find 
out, young man, to his cost, afore he's six months older.'' 

At this consolatory reflection, ]\Irs. Cluppins bridled up, and smiled 
at ]Mrs. Sanders, who smiled back again. 

" T-he action's going on, and no mistake," thought Sam, as ]Mrs. 
Dardell re-entered with tlie receipt. 

" Here's the receipt, Mr. Weller," said Mrs. Bardell, " and here's 
the change, and I hope you'll take a little drop of something to keep 
the cold out, if it's only for old acquaintance' sake, Mr. Weller." 

Sam saw the advantage he should gain, and at once acquiesced, 
whereupon Mrs. Bardell produced from a small closet a black bottle 
and a wine glass, and so great was her abstraction in her deep mental 
affliction, that, after filling Mr. Weller's glass, she brought out three 
more wine glasses, and filled them too. 

" Lauk, Mrs. Bardell," said Mrs. Cluppins, *' see what you've been 
and done." 

" Well, that is a good one !" ejaculated Mrs. Sanders. 

" Ah, my poor head !" said Mrs. Bardell, with a faint smile. 

Sam understood all this, of course, so he said at once, that he never 
could drink before supper, unless a lady drank with him. A great deal 
of laughing ensued, and then Mrs. Sanders volunteered to humour him, 
so she took a slight sip out of her glass. Then Sam said it must go all 
round, so they all took a slight sip. Then little Mrs. Cluppins pro- 
posed as a toast, "Success to Bardell against Pickwick;" and then 
the ladies emptied their glasses in honour of the sentiment, and got very 
talkative directly. 

" I suppose you've heard what's going forward, Mr. W^eller," said 
Mrs. Bardell. 

" I've heerd somethin' on it," replied Sara. 

" It's a terrible thing to be dragged before the public, in that way, 
Mr. Weller," said Mrs. Bardell ; '' but I see now, that it's the only 
thing I ought to do, and my lawyers, Mr. Dodson and Fogg, tell 
rae that, with the evidence as we shall call, we must succeed. I don't 
know what 1 should do, Mr. Weller, if I didn't." 

The mere idea of Mrs. Bardell's failing in her action, aifected Mrs. 
Sanders so deeply, that she was under the necessity of re-filling and 
re-emptying her glass immediately ; feeling, as she said afterwards, that 
if she hadn't had the presence of mind to have done so, she must have 

" Ven is it expected to come on ? " inquired Sam. 

" Either in February or March," replied Mrs. Bardell. 

"What a number of witnesses there'll be, won't there?" said Mrs. 

" Ah, won't there ! " replied Mrs. Sanders. 

" And won't Mr. Dodson and Fogg be wild if the plaintiff shouldn't 
get it ?" added Mrs. Cluppins, " when they do it all on speculation !" 


" Ah ! won't they I " said Mrs. Sanders. 

" But the plaintiff must get it," resumed Mrs. Cluppins. 

" I hope so," said Mrs. Bardell. 

" Oh, there can't be any doubt about it," rejoined Mrs. Sanders. 

" Veil," said Sam, rising and setting down his glass. " All I can 
say is, that I vish you may get it." 

« Thanke'e, Mr. Weller," said Mrs. Bardell, fervently. 

" And of them Dodson and Fogg, as does these sort o' things on 
spec," continued Mr. Weller, " as veil as for the other kind and gen'- 
rous people o' the same purfession, as sets people by the ears free gratis 
for nothin', and sets their clerks to work to find out little disputes 
among their neighbours and acquaintance as vants settlin' by means o' 
law-suits — all I can say o' them is, that I vish they had the revard I'd 
give 'era." 

•' Ah, I wish they had the reward that every kind and generous heart 
would be inclined to bestow upon them," said the gratified Mrs. Bardell. 

" Amen to that," replied Sam, " and a fat and happy livin' they'd 
get out of it. Vish you good night, ladies." 

To the great relief of Mrs. Sanders, Sam was allowed to depart, 
without any reference on the part of the hostess to the pettitoes and 
toasted cheese, to which the ladies, with such juvenile assistance as 
Master Bardell could afford, soon afterwards rendered the amplest justice 
— indeed they wholly vanished, before their strenuous exertions. 

Mr. Weller wended his way back to the George and Vulture, and 
faithfully recounted to his master, such indications of the sharp practice 
of Dodson and Fogg, as he had contrived to pick up in his visit to Mrs. 
Bardell's. An interview with Mr. Perker next day, more than con- 
firmed Mr. Weller's statement ; and Mr. Pickwick was fain to prepare 
for his Christmas visit to Dingley Del), with the pleasant anticipation 
that some two or three months afterwards, an action brought against 
him for damages sustained by reason of a breach of promise of marriage, 
would be publicly tried in the Court of Common Pleas ; the plaintiff 
having all the advantages derivable not only from the force of circum- 
stances, but from the sharp practice of Dodson and Fogg to boot. 




There still remaining an interval of two days, before the time agreed 
upon, for the departure of the Pickwickians to Dingley Dell, Mr. VVeller 
sat himself down in a back room at the George and Vulture, after eating 
an early dinner, to muse on the best way of disposing of his time. It 
was a remarkably fine day ; and he had not turned the matter over in 
his mind ten minutes, when he was suddenly struck filial and affectionate ; 
and it occurred to him so strongly that he ought to go down to see hin 
father, and pay his duty to his mother-in-law, that he was lost in aston- 
ishment at his own remissness in never thinking of this moral obligation 
before. Anxious to atone for his past neglect without another hour's 
delay, he straightway walked up stairs to Mr. Pickwick, and requested 
leave of absence for this laudable purpose. 

" Certainly, Sara, certainly," said Mr. Pickwick, his eyes glistening 
with delight at this manifestation of good feeling, on the part of his at- 
tendant; "certainly, Sam." 

Mr. Weller made a grateful bow. 

" I am very glad to see that you have so high a sense of your duties 
as a son, Sam," said Mr. Pickwick. 

*' I always had. Sir," replied Mr. Weller. 

" That's a very gratifying reflection, Sam,'* said Mr. Pickwick, 

" Wery, Sir," replied Mr. Weller; " if ever I vanted anythin' o' my 
father, I always asked for it in a wery 'spectful and obligin' manner. If 
he didn't give it me, I took it, for fear I should be led to do anythin* 
wrong, through not havin' it. I saved him a world o' trouble this vay, 

" That's not precisely what I meant, Sam," said Mr. Pickwick, 
shaking his head, with a slight smile. 

♦' All good feelin*, Sir — the wery best intentions, as the gen'lm'n said 
ven he run away from his vidfe, 'cos she seemed unhappy with him," 
replied Mr. Weller. 

" You may go, Sam," said Mr. Pickwick. 

" Thank'ee, Sir," replied Mr. Weller ; and having made his best 
bow, and put on his best clothes, Sam planted himself on the top of the 
Arundel coach, and journeyed on to Dorking. 

The Marquis of Granby, in Mrs. Weller's time, was quite a model of 
a road-side public-Louse of the better class — just large enough to be 
convenient, and small enough to be snug. On the opposite side of the 
road was a large sign-board on a high post, representing the head ant' 
shoulders of a gentleman with an apoplectic countenance, in a red coat, 
with deep blue facings, and a touch of the same over hid three-cornered 



hat, for a sky. Over that again, were a pair of flags, and beneath the 
last button of his coat were a couple of cannon ; and the whole formed 
an expressive and undoubted likeness of the Marquis of Granby of 
glorious memory. The bar window displayed a choice collection of 
geranium plants, and a well-dusted row of spirit phials. The open 
shutters bore a variety of golden inscriptions, eulogistic of good beds 
and neat wines ; and the choice group of countrymen and hostlers 
lounging about the stable-door and horse-trough, afforded presumptive 
proof of the excellent quality of the ale and spirits which were sold 
within. Sam Weller paused, when he dismounted from the coach, to 
note all these little indications of a thriving business, with the eye of 
an experienced traveller ; and having done so, stepped in at once, highly 
satisfied with everything he had observed. 

" Now, then," said a shrill female voice, the instant Sam thrust in 
bis head at the door, " what do you want, young man ? " 

Sam looked round in the direction whence the voice proceeded. It 
came from a rather stout lady of comfortable appearance, who was seated 
beside the fire-place in the bar, blowing the fire to make the kettle boil 
for tea. She was not alone, for on the other side of the fire-place, sitting 
bolt upright in a high-backed chair, was a man in thread-bare black 
clothes, with a back almost as long and stiff as that of the chair itself, 
who caught Sam's most particular and especial attention at once. 

He was a prim-faced, red-nosed man, with a long thin countenance 
and a semi-rattlesnake sort of eye — rather sharp, but decidedly bad. He 
wore very short trousers, and black-cotton stockings, which, like the 
rest of his apparel, were particularly rusty. His looks were starched, 
but his white neckerchief was not ; and its long limp ends straggled over 
his closely-buttoned waistcoat in a very uncouth and unpicturesque 
fashion. A pair of old, worn, beaver gloves, a broad-brimmed hat, and 
a faded green umbrella, with plenty of whalebone sticking through the 
bottom, as if to counterbalance the want of a handle at the top, lay on 
a chair beside him ; and being disposed in a very tidy and careful man- 
ner, seemed to imply that the red-nosed man, whoever he was, had no 
intention of going away in a hurry. 

To do the red-nosed man justice, he would have been very far from 
wise if he had entertained any such intention, for, to judge from all ap- 
pearances, he must have been possessed of a most desirable circle of ac- 
quaintance, if he could have reasonably expected to be more comfortable 
anywhere else. The fire was blazing brightly, under the influence of 
the bellows, and the kettle was singing gaily, under the influence of 
both. A small tray of tea-things was arranged on the table ; a plate 
of hot buttered toast was gently simmering before the fire ; and the 
red-nosed man himself was busily engaged in converting a large slice 
of bread, into the same agreeable edible, through the instrumentality of 
a long brass toasting-fork. Beside him, stood a glass of reeking hot 
pine-apple rum and water, with a slice of lemon in it : and every time 
the red-nosed man stopped to bring the round of bread to his eye, with 
the view of ascertaining how it got on, he imbibed a drop or two of the 
hot pine-apple rum and water, and smiled upon the rather stout lady, as 
she blew the fire. 


Sam was so lost in the contemplation of this comfortable scene, that 
he suffered the first inquiry of the rather stout lady to pass wholly un- 
heeded. It was not until it had been twice repeated, each time in a 
shriller tone, that he became conscious of the impropriety of his 

" Governor in ?" inquired Sam, in reply to the question. 

•* No, he isn't," replied Mrs. Weller, for the rather stout lady was 
no other than the quondam relict and sole executrix of the dead-and- 
gone Mr. Clarke ; — " No, he isn't, and I don't expect him, either." 

** I suppose he's a drivin' up to-day?" said Sam. 

" He may be, or he may not," replied Mrs. Weller, buttering the 
round of toast which the red-nosed man had just finished, " I don't 
know, and, what's more, I don't care. Ask a blessin', Mr. Stiggins." 

The red-nosed man did as he was desired, and instantly commenced 
on the toast with fierce voracity. 

The appearance of the red-nosed man had induced Sam, at first sight, 
to more than half suspect that he was the deputy shepherd, of whom 
his estimable parent had spoken. The moment he saw him eat, all 
doubt on the subject was removed, and he perceived at once that if he 
proposed to take up his temporary quarters where he was, he must make 
his footing good without delay. He therefore commenced proceedings 
by putting his arm over the half-door of the bar, coolly unbolting it, 
and leisurely walking in. 

" Mother-in-law," said Sam, " how are you?" 

" Why, I do believe he is a Welier," said Mrs. W., raising her eyes 
to Sam's face, with no very gratified expression of countenance. 

" I rayther think he is," said the imperturbable Sam ; " and I hope 
this here reverend genlm'n *11 excuse me saying that I wish I was the 
Weller as owns you, mother-in-law." 

This was a double-barrelled compliment : it implied that Mrs. Weller 
was a most agreeable female, and also that Mr. Stiggins had a clerical 
appearance. It made a visible impression at once ; and Sam followed 
up his advantage by kissing his mother-in-law. 

" Get along with you," said Mrs. Weller, pushing him away. 

" For shame, young man," said the gentleman with the red nose. 

" No offence. Sir, no offence," replied Sam ; " you're wery right, 
though ; it ain't the right sort o' thing, ven mothers-in-law is young 
and good looking, is it, Sir ? " 

" It's all vanity," said Mr. Stiggins. 

" Ah, so it is," said Mrs. Weller, setting her cap to rights. 

Sam thought it was, too, but he held his peace. 

The deputy shepherd seemed by no means best pleased with Sam's 
arrival ; and when the first effervescence of the compliment had sub- 
sided, even Mrs. Weller looked as if she could have spared him without 
the smallest inconvenience. However, there he was ; and as he couldn't 
be decently turned out, they all three sat down to tea. 

" And how's father ?" said Sam. 

At this inquiry, Mrs. Weller raised her hands, and turned up her 
eyes, as if the subject were too painful to be alluded to./ 



Mr. Stig'gins groaned. 

" What's the matter with that 'ere gen'lm'n ? *' inquired Sam. 

" He's shocked at the way your father goes on, in — " replied Mrs, 

" Oh, he is, is he?" said Sam. 

" And with too good reason," added Mrs. Weller, gravely. 

Mr. Stiggins took up a fresh piece of toast, and groaned heavily. 

" He is a dreadful reprobate," said Mrs. Weller. 

" A man of wrath ! " exclaimed Mr. Stiggins. And he took a large 
semi-circular bite out of the toast, and groaned again. 

Sam felt very strongly disposed to give the reverend Mr. Stiggins 
something to groan for, but he repressed his inclination, and merely 
asked, *' What's the old 'un up to, now ?" 

"Up to, indeed!" said Mrs. Weller, ** oh, he has a hard heart. 
Night after night does this excellent man — don't frown, Mr. Stiggins, 
I will say you are an excellent man — come and sit here, for hours to- 
gether, and it has not the least effect upon him." 

" Well, that is odd," said Sam ; " it 'ud have a wery considerable 
effect upon me, if I wos in his place, I know that." 

** The fact is, my young friend," said Mr. Stiggins, solemnly, " he 
has an obderrate bosom. Oh, my young friend, who else could have 
resisted the pleading of sixteen of our fairest sisters, and withstood 
their exhortations to subscribe to our noble society for providing the 
infant negroes in the West Indies with flannel waistcoats and moral 
pocket handkerchiefs ? " 

" What's a moral pocket ankercher ?" said Sam; " I never see one 
o' them articles o' furniter." 

" Those which combine amusement with instruction, my young 
friend," replied Mr. Stiggins, *' blending select tales with wood-cuts." 

" Oh, I know," said Sam, " them as hangs up in the linen-drapers* 
shops, with beggars' petitions and all that 'ere upon 'em ? " 

Mr. Stiggins began a third round of toast, and nodded assent. 

" And he wouldn't be persuaded by the ladies, wouldn't he?" said 

" Sat and smoked his pipe, and said the infant negroes were — what 
did he say the infant negroes were ?" said Mrs. Weller. 

" Little humbugs," replied Mr. Stiggins, deeply affected. 

" Said the infant negroes were little humbugs," repeated Mrs. Weller. 
And they both groaned at the atrocious conduct of the elder Mr. 

A great many more iniquities of a similar nature might have been 
disclosed, only the toast being all eat, the tea having got very weak, 
and Sam holding out no indications of meaning to go, Mr. Stiggins 
suddenly recollected that he had a most pressing appointment with the 
shepherd, and took himself off accordingly. 

The tea-things had been scarcely put away, and the hearth swept up, 
when the London coach deposited Mr. Weller senior at the door, hili* 
legs deposited him in the bar, and his eyes shewed him his son 

" What, Sammy ! " exclaimed the father 


"What, old Nobs!" ejaculated the son. And they shook bands 

*' Wery glad to see you, Sammy," said the elder Mr. Weller, " though 
how youVe managed to get over your mother-in-law, is a mystery to 
me. I only vish you'd write me out the receipt, that's all." 

" Hush ! " said Sam, " she's at home, old feller." 

" She ain't vithin hearin'," replied Mr. Weller ; " she always goes 
and blows up, down stairs, for a couple of hours arter tea; so we'll just 
give ourselves a damp, Sammy." 

Saying this, Mr. Weller mixed two glasses of spirits and water, and 
produced a couple of pipes ; and the father and son sitting down oppo- 
site each other, Sam on one side the fire, in the high-hacked chair, and 
Mr. Weller senior on the other, in an easy ditto, they proceeded to 
enjoy themselves with all due gravity. 

" Anybody been here, Sammy ? " asked Mr. Weller senior, drily, 
after a long silence. 

Sam nodded an Cfxpressive assent. 

" Red-nosed chap ? " inquired Mr. Weller. 

Sam nodded again. 

" Amiable man that 'ere, Sammy,'* said Mr. Weller, smoking 

" Seems so/* observed Sam. 

" Good hand at accounts," said Mr. Weller. 

"Is he?" said Sam. 

" Borrows eighteenpence on Monday, and comes on Tuesday for a 
shillin* to make it up half a crown ; calls again on Vensday for another 
half crown to make it five shillin's, and goes on, doubling, till he gets it 
tip to a five pund note in no time, like them sums in the 'rithmetic 
bo6k 'bout the nails in the horse's shoes, Sammy." 

Sam intimated by a nod that he recollected the problem alluded to by 
his parent. 

" So you vouldn't subscribe to the flannel veskits?" said Sam, afi;er 
another interval of smoking. 

" Cert'nly not," replied Mr. Weller ; " what's the good o* flannel 
veskits to the young niggers abroad ? But I'll tell you what it is, 
Sammy," said Mr. Weller, lowering his voice, and bending across the 
fire-place, ** I'd come down wery handsome towards straight veskits for 
some people at home." 

As Mr. Weller said this, he slowly recovered his former position, and 
winked at his first-born, in a profound manner. 

" It cert'nly seems a queer start to send out pocket ankechers to 
people as don't know the use on 'em," observed Sam. 

" They're alvays a doin' some gammon of that sort, Sammy," replied 
his father. " T'other Sunday I vas walkin' up the road, ven who 
should I see a standin' at a chapel-door, with a blue soup-plate in her 
hand, but your mother-in-law. I werily believe there was change for a 
couple o' suv'rins in it, then, Sammy, all in ha'pence ; and as the people 
come out, they rattled the pennies in, till you'd ha thought that no 


mortal plate as ever was baked, could ha' stood the wear and tear. What 
d'ye think it was all for?" 

" For another tea-drinkin*, perhaps," said Sam. 

" Not a bit on it," replied the father ; " for the shepherd's water- 
rate, Sammy." 

" The shepherd's water-rate!" said Sam. 

" Ay," replied Mr. Weller, " there was three quarters owin*, and the 
shepherd hadn't paid a farden, not he — perhaps it might be on account 
that the water warn't o' much use to him, for it's wery little o* that tap 
he drinks, Sammy, wery ; he knows a trick worth a good half dozen of 
that, he does. Hows'ever, it warn't paid, and so they cuts the water off. 
Down goes the shepherd to chapel, gives out as he's a persecuted saint, 
and says he hopes the heart of the turncock as cut the water off, '11 be 
softened, and turned in the right vay, but he rayther thinks he s booked 
for somethin' uncomfortable. Upon this, the women calls a meetin', 
sings a hymn, wotes your mother-in-law into the chair, wolunteers a 
col-lection next Sunday, and hands it all over to ^e shepherd. And 
if he ain't got enough out on 'em, Sammy, to make him free of the 
water company for life," said Mr. Weller, in conclusion, " I'm one 
Dutchman, and you're another, and that's all about it." 

Mr. Weller smoked for some minutes in silence, and then resumed — 

" The worst o' these here shepherds is, my boy, that they reg'larly 
turns the heads of all the young ladies, about here. Lord bless their 
little hearts, they thinks it's all right, and don't know no better ; but 
they're the wictims o' gammon, Samivel, they're the wictims o' gammon." 

" I s'pose they are," said Sam. 

" Nothin' else," said Mr. Weller, shaking his head gravely ; " and 
wot aggrawates me, Samivel, is to see 'em a wastin' all their time and 
labour in making clothes for copper-coloured people as don't want 'em, 
and taking no notice of the fle«>^-coloured Christians as do. If I'd my 
vay, Samivel, I'd just stick some o' these here lazy shepherds behind a 
heavy wheelbarrow, and run 'em up and down a fourteen-inch-wide 
plank all day. That 'ud shake the nonsense out of 'em, if anythin* 

Mr. Weller having delivered this gentle recipe with strong emphasis, 
eked out by a variety of nods and contortions of the eye, emptied his 
glass at a draught, and knocked the ashes out of his pipe, with native 

He was engaged in this operation, when a shrill voice was heard in 
the passage. 

" Here's your dear relation, Sammy," said Mr. Weller ; and Mrs. W. 
hurried into the room. 

" Oh, you've come back, have you I " said Mrs. Weller. 

" Yes, my dear," replied Mr. Weller, filling a fresh pipe. 

« Has Mr. Stiggins been back ? " said Mrs. Weller. 

" No, my dear, he hasn't," replied Mr. Weller, lighting the pipe by 
the ingenious process of holding to the bowl thereof, between the tongs, 
a red-hot coal from the adjacent fire ; " and what's more, nay dear, I 
shall manage to surwive it, if he don't come hack at all." 



" Ugh, you wretch," said Mrs. Weller. 

" Thank'ee, my love," said Mr. Weller. 

" Come, come, father," said Sam, " none o' these little levin's afore 
|ftrangers. Here's the reverend gen'lm'n a comin' in now." 

At this announcement, Mrs. Weller hastily wiped off the tears which 
'she had just begun to force on; and Mr. W. drew his chair sullenly 
into the chimney corner. 

Mr. Stiggins was easily prevailed on, to take another glass of the hot 
>ine-apple rum and water, and a second, and a third, and then to refresh 
limself with a slight supper, previous to beginning again. He sat on 
the same side as Mr. Weller senior ; and every time he could contrive 
to do so, unseen by his wife, that gentleman indicated to his son the 
hidden emotions of his bosom, by shaking his fist over the deputy 
shepherd's head, a process which afforded his son the most unmingled 
delight and satisfaction, the more especially as Mr. Stiggins went on, 
quietly drinking the hot pine-apple rum and water, wholly unconscious 
of what was going forward. 

The major part of the conversation was confined to Mrs. Weller and 
the reverend Mr. Stiggins ; and the topics principally descanted on, were 
the virtues of the shepherd, the worthiness of his flock, and the high 
crimes and misdemeanours of everybody beside — dissertations which the 
elder Mr. Weller occasionally interrupted by half-suppressed references 
to a gentleman of the name of Walker, and other running commentaries 
of the same kind. 

At length Mr. Stiggins, with several most indubitable symptoms of 
having quite as much pine-apple rum and water about him, as he could 
comfortably accommodate, took his hat and his leave : and Sam was, im- 
mediately afterwards, shewn to bed by his father. The respectable old 
gentleman wrung his hand fervently, and seemed disposed to address 
some observations to his son, but on Mrs. Weller advancing towards 
him, he appeared to relinquish his intention, and abruptly bade him 
good night. 

Sam was up betimes next day, and having partaken of a hasty break- 
fast, prepared to return to London. He had scarcely set foot without 
the house, when his father stood before him. 

" Goin', Sammy ? " inquired Mr. Weller. 

" Off at once," replied Sam. 

" I vish you could muffle that 'ere Stiggins, and take him with you," 
said Mr. Weller. 

<* I am ashamed o*" you, old two-for-his-heels," said Sam, reproach- 
fully, " what do you let him shew his red nose in the Markis o' Granby 
at all, for?" 

Mr. Weller the elder fixed on his son an earnest look, and replied — 
" 'Cause I'm a married man, Samivel, 'cause I'm a married man. 
Ven you're a married man, Samivel, you'll understand a good many 
things as you don't understand now ; but vether it's worth while goin' 
through so much, to learn so little, as the charity-boy said ven he got 
to the end of the alphabet, is a matter o taste. / rayther think it 


" Well," said Sam, " good bye." 

" Tar, tar, Sammy," replied his father. 

" I've only got to say this here," said Sam, stopping short, " that if 
/ was the properiator o' the Markis o' Granby, and that 'ere Stiggins 
came and made toast in my bar, I'd — " 

" What ?" interposed Mr. Weller, with great anxiety. " What ? " 

" — Pison his rum and water," said Sam. 

" No I" said Mr. Weller, shaking his son eagerly by the hand, 
" would you raly, Sammy — would you, though ?" 

" I would," said Sam. " I wouldn't be too hard upon him, at first : 
I'd just drop him in the water-butt, and put the lid on ; and then if I 
found he was insensible to kindness, I'd try the other persvasion." 

The elder Mr. Weller bestowed a look of deep, unspeakable admira- 
tion on his son, and, having once more grasped his hand, walked slowly 
away, revolving in his mind the numerous reflections to which his advice 
had given rise. 

Sam looked after him, till he turned a corner of the road, and then 
set forward on his walk to London. He meditated at first on the pro- 
bable consequences of his own advice, and the likelihood and unlike- 
lihood of his father's adopting it. He dismissed the subject from his 
mind, however, with the consolatory reflection that time alone would 
shew ; and this is just the reflection we woula impress upon the reader. ' 



As brisk as bees, if not altogether as light as fairies, did the four 
Pickwickians assemble on the morning of the twenty-second day of 
December, in the year of grace in which these, their faithfully-recorded 
adventures, were undertaken and accomplished. Christmas was close 
at hand, in all his blufi" and hearty honesty; it was the season of 
hospitality, merriment, and open-heartedness ; the old year was pre- 
paring, like an ancient philosopher, to call his friends around him, and 
amidst the sound of feasting and revelry to pass gently and calmly away. 
Gay and merry was the time ; and right gay and merry were at least 
four of the numerous hearts that were gladdened by its coming. 

And numerous indeed are the hearts to which Christmas brings a 
brief season of happiness and enjoyment. How many families whose 
members have been dispersed and scattered far and wide, in the restless 
struggles of life, are then re- united, and meet once again in that happy 
state of companionship and mutual good-will, which is a source of such 
pure and unalloyed delight, and one so incompatible with the cares and 



sorrows of the world, that the religious belief of the most civilised 
nations, and the rude traditions of the roughest savages, alike number 
it among the first joys of a future state of existence, provided for the 
blest and happy I How many old recollections, and how many dor- 
mant, sympathies, does Christmas time awaken ! 

We write these words now, many miles distant from the spot at which, 
year after year, we met on that (^ay, a merry and joyous circle. Many 
of the hearts that throbbed so gaily then, have ceased to beat ; many of 
the looks that shone so brightly then, have ceased to glow ; the hands 
we grasped, have grown cold ; the eyes we sought, have hid their lustre 
in the grave ; and yet the old house, the room, the merry voices and 
smiling faces, the jest, the laugh, the most minute and trivial circum- 
stance connected witL. those happy meetings, crowd upon our mind at 
each recurrence of the season, as if the last assemblage had been but 
yesterday. Happy, happy Christmas, that can win us back to the 
delusions of our childish days, that can recal to the old man the pleasures 
of his youth, and transport the sailor and the traveller, thousands of 
miles away, back to his own lire-side and his quiet home ! 

But we are so taken up, and occupied, v/ith the good qualities of 
Christmas, who, by the way, is quite a country gentleman of the old 
school, that we are keeping Mr. Pickwick and his friends waiting in the 
cold, on the outside of the Muggleton coach, which they have just 
attained, well wrapped up, in great coats, shawls, and comforters. The 
portmanteaus and carpet-bags have been stowed away, and Mr. Weller 
and the guard are endeavouring to insinuate into the fore-boot a huge 
cod-fish several sizes too large for it, which is snugly packed up, in a 
long brown basket, with a layer of straw over the top, and which has 
been left to the last, in order that he may repose in safety on the half- 
dozen barrels of real native oysters, all the property of Mr. Pickwick, 
which have been arranged in regular order, at the bottom of the recep- 
tacle. The interest displayed in Mr. Pickwick's countenance is most 
intense, as Mr. Weller and the guard try to squeeze the cod-fish into 
the boot, first head first, and then tail first, and then top upwards, and 
then bottom upwards, and then side-ways, and then long-ways, all of 
which artifices the implacable cod-fish sturdily resists, until the guard 
accidentally hits him in the very middle of the basket, whereupon he 
suddenly disappears into the boot, and with him, the head and shoulders 
of the guard himself, who, not calculating upon so sudden a cessation 
of the passive resistance of the cod-fish, experiences a very unexpected 
shock, to the unsmotherable delight of all the porters and by-standers. 
Upon this, Mr. Pickwick smiles with great good humour, and drawing 
a shilling from his waistcoat pocket, begs the guard, as he picks himself 
out of the boot, to drink his health in a glass of hot brandy and water, 
at which, the guard smiles too, and Messrs. Snodgrass, Winkle, and 
Tupman, all smile in company. The guard and Mr. Weller disappear 
for five minutes, most probably to get the hot brandy and water, for 
they smell very strongly of it, when they return, the coachman mounts 
to the box, Mr. Weller jumps up behind, the Pickwickians pull their 
coats round their legs, and their shawls over their noses ; the helpers 



pull the Lorse-cloths off, the coachman shouts out a cheery " All right," 
and away they go. 

They have rumbled through the streets, and jolted over the stones, 
and at length reach the wide and open country. The wheels skim over 
the hard and frosty ground ; and the horses, bursting into a canter at a 
smart crack of the whip, step along the road as if the load behind them, 
coach, passengers, cod-fish, oyster barrels, and all, were but a feather at 
their heels. They have descended a gentle slope, and enter upon a 
level, as compact and dry as a solid block of marble, two miles long. 
Another crack of the whip, and on they speed, at a smart gallop, the 
horses tossing their heads and rattling the harness as if in exhilaration 
at the rapidity of the mocion, while the coachman holding whip and 
rems in one hand, takes off his hat with the other, and resting it on his 
knees, pulls out his handkerchief, and wipes his forehead, partly because 
he has a habit of doing it, and partly because it*s as well to shew the 
passengers how cool he is, and what an easy thing it is to drive four-in- 
hand, when you have had as much practice as he has. Having done 
this very leisurely (otherwise the effect would be materially impaired), 
he replaces his handkerchief, pulls on his hat, adjusts his gloves, squares 
his elbows, cracks the whip again, and on they speed, more merrily 
than before. 

A few small houses scattered on either side of the road, betoken the 
entrance to some town or village. The lively notes of the guard's key 
bugle vibrate in the clear cold air, and wake up the old gentleman 
inside, who carefully letting down the window-sash half way, and 
standing sentry over the air, takes a short peep out, and then carefully 
pulling it up again, informs the other inside that they're going to change 
directly ; on which the other inside wakes himself up, and determines to 
postpone his next nap until after the stoppage. Again the bugle sounds 
lustily forth, and rouses the cottager's wife and children, who peep out 
at the house-door, and watch the coach till it turns the corner, when they 
once more crouch round the blazing fire, and throw on another log of 
wood against father comes home, while father himself, a full mile off, 
has just exchanged a friendly nod with the coachman, and turned round, 
to take a good long stare at the vehicle as it whirls away. 

And now the bugle plays a lively air as the coach rattles through the 
ill-paved streets of a country town ; and the coachman, undoing the 
buckle which keeps his ribands together, prepares to throw them off the 
moment he stops. Mr. Pickwick emerges from his coat collar, and 
looks about him with great curiosity ; perceiving which, the coachman 
informs Mr. Pickwick of the nam« of the town, and tells him it was 
market-day yesterday, both which pieces of information Mr. Pickwick 
retails to his fellow-passengers, whereupon they emerge from their coat 
collars too, and look about them also. Mr. Winkle, who sits at the 
extreme edge, with one leg dangling in the air, is nearly precipitated 
into the street, as the coach twists round the sharp corner by the cheese- 
monger's shop, and turn« into the market-place ; and before Mr. Snod- 
grass, who sits next to him, has recovered from his alarm, they pull up 
Rt the inn yard, where the fresh horses, with cloths on, are already 


waiting. The coachman throws down the reins and gets down himself, 
and the other outside passengers drop down also, except those who have 
no great confidence in their ability to get up again, and they remain 
where they are, and stamp their feet against the coach to warm them ; 
looking with longing eyes and red noses at the bright fire in the inn 
bar, and the sprigs of holly with red berries which ornament the 

But the guard has delivered at the corn-dealer's shop, the brown paper 
packet he took out of the little pouch which hangs over his shoulder 
by a leathern strap, and has seen the horses carefully put to, and has 
thrown on the pavement the saddle which was brought from Londo-n on 
the coach-roof, and has assisted in the conference between the coachman 
and the hostler about the grey mare that hurt her olf-fore-leg last Tuesday, 
and he and Mr. Weller are all right behind, and the coachman is all right 
in front, and the old gentleman inside, who has kept the window down 
full two inches all this time, has pulled it up again, and the cloths are 
off, and they are all ready for starting, except the ** two stout gentle- 
men," whom the coachman enquires after with some impatience. Here- 
upon the coachman, and the guard, and Sam Weller, and Mr. Winkle, 
and Mr. Snodgrass, and all the hostlers, and every one of the idlers, 
who are more in number than all the others put together, shout for the 
missing gentlemen as loud as they can bawl. A distant response is 
heard from the yard, and Mr. Pickwick and Mr. Tupman come running 
down it, quite out of breath, for they have been having a glass of ale 
a-piece, and Mr. Pickwick's fingers are so cold that he has been full five 
minutes before he could find the sixpence to pay for it. The coachman 
shouts an admonitory *' Now, then, gen'lm'n," the guard re-choes it — 
the old gentleman inside, thinks it a very extraordinary thing that 
people rvill get down when they know there isn't time for it — Mr. Pick- 
wick struggles up on one side, Mr. Tupman on the other, Mr. Winkle 
cries '* All right," and oif they start. Shawls are pulled up, coat collars 
are re-adjusted, the pavement ceases, the houses disappear ; and they are 
once again dashing along the open road, with the fresh clear air blowing 
in their faces, and gladdening their very hearts within them. 

Such was the progress of Mr. Pickwick and his friends by the Mug- 
gleton Telegraph, on their way to Dingley Dell ; and at three o'clock 
that afternoon, they all stood, high and dry, safe and sound, hale and 
hearty, upon the steps of the Blue Lion, having taken on the road quite 
enough of ale and brandy, to enable them to bid defiance to the frost 
that was binding up the earth in its iron fetters, and weaving its beau- 
tiful net- work upon the trees and hedges. Mr. Pickwick was busily 
engaged in counting the barrels of oysters, and superintending the dis- 
interment of the cod-fish, when he felt himself gently pulled by the 
skirts of the coat ; and looking round, he discovered that the individual 
who resorted to this mode of catching his attention, was no other than 
Mr. Wardle's favourite page, better known to the readers of this unvar- 
nished history by the distinguishing appellation of the fat boy, 

" Aha I " said Mr. Pickwick. 

h« Aha 1 " said the fat boy. 


And as he said it, he glanced from the cod-fish to the oyster-barrels, 
and chuckled joyously. He was fatter than ever. 

" Well, you look rosy enough, my young friend," said Mr. Pickwick. 

" I've been asleep, right in front of the tap-room fire," replied the fat 
boy, who had heated himself to the colour of a new chimney-pot, in the 
course of an hour's nap. " Master sent me over with the chay-cart, to 
carry your luggage up to the house. He'd ha' sent some saddle horses, 
but he thought you'd rather walk, being a cold day." 

" Yes, yes," said Mr. Pickwick, hastily, for he remembered how they 
had travelled over nearly the same ground on a previous occasion. 
** Yes, we would rather walk. Here, Sam." 

" Sir," said Mr. Weller. 

" Help Mr. Wardle's servant to put the packages into the cart, and 
then ride on with him. We will walk forward at once." 

Having given this direction, and settled with the coachman, Mr. 
Pickwick and his three friends struck into the footpath across the fields, 
and walked briskly away, leaving Mr. Weller and the fat boy confronted 
together for the first time. Sam looked at the fat boy with great asto- 
nishment, but without saying a word ; and began to stow the things 
rapidly away in the cart, while the fat boy stood quietly by, and seemed 
to think it a very interesting sort of thing to see Mr. Weller working 
by himself. 

" There," said Sam, throwing in the last carpet bag. " There they 

" Yes," said the fat boy, in a very satisfied tone, '* there they are." 

" Veil, young twenty stun," said Sam, " you're a nice specimen of a 
prize boy, you are." 

" Thankee," said the fat boy. 

" You ain't got nothin on your mind, as makes you fret yourself, 
have you ? " inquired Sam. 

" Not as I knows on," replied the boy. 

" I should rayther ha' thought, to look at you, that you was a la- 
bourin* under an unrequited attachment to some young 'ooman," said 

The fat boy shook his head. 

" Veil," said Sam, " I'm glad to hear it. Do you ever drink any- 

" I likes eating, better/' replied the boy. 

" Ah," said Sam, " I should ha' s'posed that ; but what I mean ii, 
should you like a drop of any thin' as'd warm you ? but I s'pose you 
never was cold, with all them elastic fixtures, was you ? " 

" Sometimes," replied the boy ; " and I likes a drop of something, 
when it's good." 

" Oh, you do, do you ? " said Sam, " come this vay, then." 

The Blue Lion tap was soon gained, and the fat boy swallowed a glass 
of liquor without so much as winking, — a feat which considerably ad- 
vanced him in Mr. Weller's good opinion. Mr. Weller having transacted 
a similar piece of business on his own account, they got into the cart. 

" Can you drive ? " said the fat boy. 


" I should rayther think so," replied Sara. 

" There, then," said the fat boy, putting the reins in his hand, and 
pointing up a lane, " It's as straight as you can go ; you can't miss it." 

With these words, the fat boy laid himself affectionately down by the 
side of the cod-fish, and placing an oyster-barrel under his head for a 
pillow, fell asleep instantaneously. 

" Veil," said Sam, " of all the cool boys ever I set my eyes on, this 
here young gen'lm'n is about the coolest. Come, vake up, young 

But as young dropsy evinced no symptoms of returning animation. 
Sam Weller sat himself down in front of the cart, and starting the old 
horse with a jerk of the rein, jogged steadily on, towards Manor Farm 

Meanwhile, Mr. Pickwick and his friends having walked their blood 
into active circulation, proceeded cheerfully on ; the paths were hard, 
the grass was crisp and frosty, the air had a fine, dry, bracing coldness, 
and the rapid approach of the grey twilight (slate-coloured is a better 
term in frosty weather) made them look forward with pleasant anticipa- 
tion to the comforts which awaited them at their hospitable entertainer's. 
It was the sort of afternoon that might induce a couple of elderly gen- 
tlemen, in a lonely field, to take off their great coats and play at leap- 
frog in pure lightness of heart and gaiety ; and we firmly believe that 
had Mr. Tupman at that moment proffered *^ a back," Mr. Pickwick 
would have accepted his offer with the utmost avidity. 

However, Mr. Tupman did not volunteer any such personal accom- 
modation, and the friends walked on, conversing merrily. As they 
turned into a lane which they had to cross, the sound of many voices 
burst upon their ears ; and before they had even had time to form a 
guess as to whom they belonged, they walked into the very centre of the 
party who were expecting their arrival — a fact which was fi»st notified 
to the Pickwickians, by the loud " Hurrah," which burst from old 
Wardle's lips, when they appeared in sight. 

First, there was Wardle himself, looking, if that were possible, more 
jolly than ever; then there were Bella and her faithful Trundle; and, 
lastly, there were Emily and some eight or ten young ladies, who had 
all come down to the wedding which was to take next day, and 
were in as happy^ and important a state as young ladies usually are, on 
such momentous occasions; and they were, one and all, startling the fields 
and lanes far and wide with their frolic and laughter. 

The ceremony of introduction, under such circumstances, was very 
soon performed, or we should rather say that the introduction was soon 
over, without any ceremony at all ; and in two minutes thereafter, Mr. 
Pickwick was joking with the young ladies who wouldn't come over the 
stile while he looked, or who, having pretty feet and unexceptionable 
ankles, preferred standing on the top-rail for five minutes or so, and 
declaring that they were too frightened to move, with as much ease and 
absence of reserve or constraint, as if he had known them for life. 
It is worthy of remark too, that Mr. Snodgrass offered Emily far more 
assistance than the absolute terrors of the stile (although it was full three 
feet high, and had only a couple of stepping-stones) would seem to 


require ; while one black-eyed young lady in a very nice little pair of 
boots with fur round the top, was observed to scream very loudly, when 
Mr. Winkle offered to help her over. 

All this was very snug and pleasant : and when the difficulties of the 
stile were at last surmounted, and they once more entered on the open 
field, old Wardle informed Mr. Pickwick how they had all been down 
in a body to inspect the furniture and fittings-up of the house, 
which the young couple were to tenant, after the Christmas holidays ; 
at which communication Bella and Trundle both coloured up, as red as 
the fat boy after the tap-room fire ; and the young lady with the black 
eyes and the fur round the boots, whispered something in Emily's ear, 
and then glanced archly at Mr. Snodgrass, to which Emily responded 
that she was a foolish girl, but turned very red, notwithstanding ; and 
Mr. Snodgrass, who was as modest as all great geniuses usually are, felt 
the crimson rising to the crown of his head, and devoutly wished, in 
the inmost recesses of his own heart, that the young lady aforesaid, with 
her black eyes, and her archness, and her boots with the fur round the 
top, were all comfortably deposited in the adjacent county. 

But if they were social and happy, outside the house, what was the 
warmth and cordiality of their reception when they reached the farm ! 
The very servants grinned with pleasure at sight of Mr. Pickwick : and 
Emma bestowed a half-demure, half-impudent, and all pretty look of 
recognition on Mr. Tupman, which was enough to make the statue of 
Bonaparte in the passage, unfold his arms, and clasp her within them. 

The old lady was seated in customary state in the front parlour, but 
she was rather cross, and b,y consequence, most particularly deaf. She 
never went out herself, and like a great many other old ladies of the 
same stamp, she was apt to consider it an act of domestic treason, if 
any body else took the liberty of doing what she couldn't. So, bless 
her old soul, she sat as upright as she could, in her great chair, and 
looked as fierce as might be — and that was benevolent after all. 

" Mother," said Wardle, " Mr. Pickwick. You recollect him." 

" Never mind," replied the old lady with great dignity. " Don't 
trouble Mr. Pickwick about an old creetur like me. Nobody cares 
about me now, and it's very nat'ral they shouldn't." Here the old lady 
tossed her head, and smoothed down her lavender-coloured silk dress, 
with trembling hands. 

" Come, come. Ma'am," said Mr. Pickwick, " I can't let you cut an 
old friend in this way. I have come down expressly to have a long 
talk, and another rubber with you ; and we'll show these boys and girls 
how to dance a minuet, before they're eight-and-forty hours older." 

The old lady was rapidly giving way, but she did not like to do it all 
at once ; so she only said, " Ah I I can't hear him." 

" Nonsense, mother," said Wardle. " Come, come, don't be cross, 
there's a good soul. Recollect Bella ; come, you must keep her spirits 
up, poor girl." 

The good old lady heard this, for her lip quivered as her son said it. 
But age has its little infirmities of temper, and she was not quite 
brought round yet. So, she smoothed down the lavender-coloured 


dress again, and turning to Mr. Pickwick said, " Ah, Mr. Pickwick, 
young' people was very different, when I was a girl." 

" No doubt of that, Ma'am," said Mr. Pickwick, " and that's the 
reason why I would make much of the few that have any traces of the 
old stock," — and saying this, Mr. Pickwick gently pulled Bella towards 
him, and bestowing a kiss upon her forehead, bade her sit down on the 
little stool at her grandmother's feet. Whether the expression of her 
countenance, as it was raised towards the old lady's face, called up a 
thought of old times, or whether the old lady was touched by Mr. Pick- 
wick's affectionate good nature, or whatever was the cause, she was 
fairly melted ; so, she threw herself on her grand-daughter's neck, and 
all the little ill-humour evaporated in a gush of silent tears. 

A happy party they were, that night. Sedate and solemn were the 
score of rubbers in which Mr. Pickwick and the old lady played toge- 
ther ; and uproarious was the mirth of the round table. Long after the 
ladies had retired, did the hot elder wine, well qualified with brandy and 
spice, go round, and round, and round again ; and sound was the sleep, 
and pleasant were the dreams that followed. It is a remarkable fact, 
that those of Mr. Snodgrass bore constant reference to Emily Wardle ; 
and that the principal figure in Mr. Winkle's visions, was a young lady 
with black eyes, an arch smile, and a pair of remarkably nice boots, with 
fur round the tops. 

Mr. Pickwick was awakened early in the morning, by a hum of voices 
and pattering of feet, sufficient to rouse even the fat boy from his heavy 
slumbers. He sat up in bed, and listened. The female servants and 
female visitors were running constantly to and fro ; and there were such 
multitudinous demands for warm water, such repeated outcries for 
needles and thread, and so many half-suppressed entreaties of " Oh, do 
come and tie me, there's a dear," that Mr. Pickwick in his innocence 
began to imagine that something dreadful must have occurred, when he 
grew more awake, and remembered the wedding. The occasion being 
an important one, he dressed himself with peculiar care, and descended 
to the breakfast room. 

There were all the female servants in a bran new uniform of pink 
muslin gowns with white bows in their caps, running about the house 
in a state of excitement and agitation, which it would be impossible to 
describe. The old lady was dressed out, in a brocaded grown, which had 
not seen the light for twenty years, saving and excepting such truant 
rays as had stolen through the chinks in the box in which it had been 
laid by, during the whole time. Mr. Trundle was in high feather and 
spirits, but a httle nervous withal. The hearty old landlord was trying 
to look very cheerful and unconcerned, but failing signally in the 
attempt. All the girls were in tears and white muslin, except a select 
two or three, who were being honoured with a private view of the bride 
and bridesmaids, up stairs. All the Pickwickians were in most bloom- 
ing array ; and there was a terrific roaring on the grass in front of the 
house, occasioned by all the men, boys, and hobbledehoys attached to 
the farm, each of whom had got a white bow in his button hole, and 
all of whom were cheering with might and main : being incited thereto, 


and stimulated therein, by the precept and example of Mr. Samuel 
WeUer, who had managed to become mighty popular already, and was 
as much at home as if he had been born on the land. 

A wedding is a licensed subject to joke upon, but there really is no 
great joke in the matter after all ; we speak merely of the ceremony, 
and beg it to be distinctly understood that we indulge in no hidden 
sarcasm upon a married life. Mixed up with the pleasure and joy ot 
the occasion, are the many regrets at quitting home, the tears of parting 
between parent and child, the consciousness of leaving the dearest and 
kindest friends of the happiest portion of human life, to encounter its 
cares and troubles with others still untried, and little known — natural 
feelings which we would not render this chapter mournful by describing, 
and which we should be still more unwilling to be supposed to ridicule. 

Let us briefly say, then, that the ceremony was performed by the old 
clergyman, in the parish Church of Dingley Dell, and that Mr. Pickwick's 
name is attached to the register, still preserved in the vestry thereof ; 
that the young lady with the black eyes signed her name in a very un- 
steady and tremulous manner ; and that Emily's signature, as the other 
bridesmaid, is nearly illegible ; that it all went off in very admirable 
style ; that the young ladies generally, thought it far less shocking than 
they expected ; and that although the owner of the black eyes and the 
arch smile informed Mr. Winkle that she was sure she could never 
submit to anything so dreadful, we have the very best reasons for 
thinking she was mistaken. To all this, we may add, that Mr. Pickwick 
was the first who saluted the bride : and that in so doing, he threw over 
her neck, a rich gold watch and chain, which no mortal eyes but, the 
jeweller's had ever beheld before. Then the old church bell rang as 
gaily as it could, and they all returned to breakfast. 

" Vere does the mince-pies go, young opium eater?" said Mr. Weller 
to the fat boy, as he assisted in laying out such articles of consumption 
as had not been duly arranged on the previous night. 

The fat boy pointed to the destination of the pies. 

« Wery good," said Sam, " stick a bit o' Christmas in 'em. T'other 
dish opposite. There ; now ve look compact and comfortable, as the 
father said ven he cut his little boy's head off, to cure him o' squintin ." 

As Mr. Weller made the comparison, he fell back a step or two, to 
give full effect to it, and surveyed the preparations with the utmost 

" Wardle," said Mr. Piekwick, almost as soon as they were all seated, 
" a glass of wine, in honour of this happy occasion ! " 

" I shall be delighted, my boy," said Wardle. " Joe — damn that 
boy, he's gone to sleep." 

" No, I ain't, Sir," replied the fat boy, starting up from a remote 
corner, where, like the patron saint of fat boys — the immortal Horner — 
be had been devouring a Christmas pie, though not with the coolness 
and deliberation which characterised that young gentleman's proceedings. 

" Fill Mr. Pickwick's glass." 

" Yes, Sir." 

The fat boy filled Mr. Pickwick's glass, and then retired behind his 




master's chair, from whence he watched the play of the knives and 
forks, and the progress of the choice morsels, from the dishes, to the 
mouths of the company, with a kind of dark and gloomy joy that was 
most impressive. 

" God bless you, old fellow," said Mr. Pickwick. 

" Same to you, my boy," replied Wardle ; and they pledged each 
other, heartily. 

« Mrs. Wardle," said Mr. Pickwick, " we old folks must have a glass 
of wine together, in honour of this joyful event." 

The old lady was in a state of great grandeur just then, for she was 
sitting at the top of the table in the brocaded gown, with her newly- 
married daughter on one side, and Mr. Pickwick on the other, to do the 
carving. Mr. Pickwick had not spoken in a very loud tone, but she 
understood him at once, and drank off a full glass of wine to his long 
life and happiness ; after which the worthy old soul launched forth into 
a minute and particular account of her own wedding, with a dissertation 
on the fashion of wearing high-heeled shoes, and some particulars concern- 
ing the life and adventures of the beautiful Lady ToUimglower, deceased, 
at all of which the old lady herself laughed very heartily indeed, and so did 
the young ladies too, for they were wondering among themselves what 
on earth grandma was talking about. When they laughed, the old lady 
laughed ten times more heartily : and said that they always had been 
considered capital stories, which caused them all to laugh again, and 
put the old lady into the very best of humours. Then the cake was 
cut, and passed through the ring; and the young ladies saved pieces to 
put under their pillows to dream of their future husbands on ; and a 
great deal of blushing and merriment was thereby occasioned. 

" Mr. Miller," said Mr. Pickwick to his old acquaintance, the hard- 
headed gentleman, " a glass of wine? " 

" W^ith great satisfaction Mr. Pickwick," replied the hard-headed 
gentleman, solemnly. 

" You'll take me in ? " said the benevolent old clergyman. 

" And me," interposed his wife. 

" And me, and me," said a couple of poor relations at the bottom of 
the table, who had eaten and drank very heartily, and laughed at every 

Mr. Pickwick expressed his heartfelt 5^f»light at every additional sug- 
gestion ; and his eyes beamed with hilarity and cheerfulness. 

" Ladies and gentlemen," said Mr. Pickwick, suddenly rising — 

" Hear, hear ! Hear, hear ! Hear, hear ! " said Mr. Weller, in the 
excitement of his feelings. ^ 

" Call in all the servants," cried old Wardle, interposing to prevent 
the public rebuke which Mr. Weller would otherwise most indubitably 
have received from his master. 

" Give them a glass of wine each, to drink the toast in. Now, 

Amidst the silence of the company, the whispering of the women 
servants, and the awkward embarrassment of the men, Mr. Pickwick 



" Ladies and gentlemen — no, I won't say ladies and gentlemen, V\\ 
call you my friends, my dear friends, if the ladies will allow me to 
take so great a liberty " 

Here Mr. Pickwick was interrupted by immense applause from the 
ladies, echopd by the gentlemen, during which the owner of the pyes 
wan distinctly heard to state that she could kiss that dear Mr. Pickwick, 
whereupon Mr. Winkle gallantly inquired if it couldn't be done by 
deputy, to which the young lady with the black eyes replied, " Go 
away " — and accompanied the request with a look which said as plainly 
as a look could do *' if you can." 

" My dear friends," resumed Mr. Pickwick, " I am going to propose 
the health of the bride and bridegroom — CJod bless 'em (cheers and 
tears). My young friend Trundle, I believe to be a very excellent 
and manly fellow ; and his wife I know to be a very amiable and 
lovely girl, well qualified to transfer to another sphere of action 
the happiness which for twenty years she has diffused around her, 
in her father's house. (Here, the fat boy burst forth into stentorian 
biubberings, and was led forth by the coat collar, by Mr. Weller.) 
I wish," added Mr. Pickwick, " I wish I was young enough to 
be her sister's husband, (cheers), but, failing that, I am happy to 
be oA enough to be her father; for, being so, I shall not be 
suspected of any latent designs when I say, that I admire, esteem, and 
love them both (cheers and sobs). The bride's father, our good 
friend there, is a noble person, and I am proud to know him (great 
uproar). He is a kind, excellent, independent-spirited, fine-hearted, 
hospitable, liberal man (enthusiastic shouts from the poor relations, at 
all the adjectives ; and especially at the two last). That his daughter 
may enjoy all the happiness, even he can desire; and that he may 
derive from the contemplation of her felicity ail the gratification ol 
heart and peace of mind which he so well deserves, is, I am persuaded, 
our united wish. So, let us drink their healths, and wish them pro- 
longed life, and every blessing." 

Mr. Pickwick concluded amidst a whirlwind of applause ; and once 
more were the lungs of the supernumeraries, under Mr. Weller's com- 
mand, brought into active and efficient operation. Mr. Wardle pro- 
posed Mr. Pickwick ; and Mr. Pickwick proposed the old lady. Mr. 
Snodgrass proposed Mr. Wardle, and Mr. Wardle proposed Mr. Snod- 
grass. One of the poor relations proposed Mr. Tupman, and the other 
poor relation proposed Mr. Winkle ; and all was happiness and festivity, 
until the mysterious disappearance of both the poor relations beneath 
the table, warned the party that it was time to adjourn. 

At dinner they met again, after a five and twenty mile walk, under- 
taken by the males at Wardle's recommendation, to get rid of the 
effects of the wine at breakfast ; the poor relations had lain in bed all 
day, with the view of attaining the same happy consummation, but, as 
they had been unsuccessful, they stopped there. Mr. Weller kept the 
domestics in a state of perpetual hilarity ; and the fat boy divided 
time into small alternate allotments of eating and sleeping. 

The dinner was as hearty an affair as the breakfast, and was (juite 


noisy, without the tears. Then came the dessert and sotne more 
toasts. Then came the tea and coffee ; and then, the ball. 

The best sitting room at Manor Farm was a good, long-, dark- 
pannelled room with a high chimney piece, and a capacious chimney, 
up which you could have driven one of the new patent cabs, wheels and 
all. At the upper end of the room, seated in a shady bower of hoily 
and evergreens, were the two best fiddlers, and the only harp, in all 
Muggleton. In all sorts of recesses, and on all kinds of brackets, stood 
massive old silver candlesticks with four branches each. The carpet 
was up, the candles burnt bright, the fire blazed and crackled on the 
hearth ; and merry voices and light-hearted laughter rang through the 
room. If any of the old English yeomen had turned into fairies when 
they died, it was just the place in which they would have held their 

If any thing could have added to the interest of this agreeable scene, 
it would have been the remarkable fact of Mr. Pickwick's appearing 
without his gaiters, for the first time within the memory of his oldest 

** You mean to dance ? " said Wardle. 

" Of course I do," replied Mr. Pickwick, *' Don't you see 1 am 
dressed for the purpose ? " and Mr. Pickwick called attention to his 
»8peckled silk stockings, and smartly tied pumps. 

" You in silk stockings ! " exclaimed Mr. Tupman jocosely. 

" And why not Sir — -why not ? " said Mr. Pickwick, turning warmly 
upon him. 

" Oh, of course there is no reason why you shouldn't wear them," 
responded Mr. Tupman. 

" I imagine not Sir-^I imagine not," said Mr. Pickwick in a very- 
peremptory tone. 

Mr. Tupman had contemplated a laugh, but he found it was a 
serious matter ; so he looked grave, and said they were a very pretty 

" I hope they are," said Mr. Pickwick fixing his eyes upon his friend. 
" You see nothing extraordinary in these stockings, as stockings, I 
trust Sir?" 

" Certainly not — oh certainly not/' replied Mr. Tupman. He 
walked away ; and Mr. Pickwick's countenance resumed its customary 
benign expression. 

" We are all ready, I believe," said Mr. Pickwick, who was stationed 
with the old lady at the top of the dance, and had already made four 
false starts, in his excessive anxiety to commence. 

" Then begin at once," said Wardle. " Now." 

Up struck the two fiddles and the one harp, and off went Mr. Pick- 
wick into hands across, when there was a general clapping of hand^, 
and a cry of " Stop, stop." 

" What's the matter ! " said Mr. Pickwick, who was only brought to, 
by the fiddles and harp desisting, and could have been stopped by no 
other earthly power, if the house had been on fire. 

** Where's Arabella Allen ? " said a dozen voices. 

z 2 



"And Winkle?" added Mr. Tupman. 

*' Here we are I" exclaimed that gentleman, emerging with his pretty 
companion from the corner ; and, as he did so, it would have been hard 
to tell which was the redder in the face, he or the young lady with the 
black eyes, 

" What an extraordinary thing it is, Winkle," said Mr. Pickwick, 
rather pettishly, " that you couldn't have taken your place before.'* 

" Not at all extraordinary," said Mr. Winkle. 

" Well," said Mr. Pickwick, with a very expressive smile, as his 
eyes rested on Arabella, " well, I don't know that it was extraordinary, 
either, after all." 

However, there was no time to think more about the matter, for the 
fiddles and harp began in real earnest. Away went Mr. Pickwick- 
hands across, down the middle to the very end of the room, and half 
way up, the chimney, back again to the door — poussette everywhere — 
loud stamp on the ground — ready for the next couple — off again — all 
the figure over once more — another stamp to beat out the time — next 
couple, and the next, and the next again — never was such going ; and 
at last, after they had reached the bottom of the dance, and full four-- 
teen couple after the old lady had retired in an exhausted state, and the 
clergyman's wife had been substituted in her stead, did that gentleman, 
when there was no demand whatever on his exertions, keep perpetually 
dancing in his place, to keep time to the music, smiling on his partner 
all the while with a blandness of demeanour which baffles all de* 

Long before Mr. Pickwick was weary of dancing, the newly-married 
couple had retired from the scene. There .was a glorious supper down 
stairs, notwithstanding, and a good long sitting after it ; and when Mr. 
Pickwick awoke, late the next morning, he had a confused recollection 
of having, severally and confidentially, invited somewhere about five-and- 
forty people to dine with him at the George and Vulture, the very first 
time they came to London ; which Mr. Pickwick rightly considered a 
pretty certain indication of his having taken something besides exercise, 
on the previous night. 

" And so your family has games in the kitchen to-night, my dear, 
has they?" inquired Sam of Emma. 

" Yes, Mr. Weiler," replied Emma ; " we always have on Christmas 
eve. Master wouldn't neglect to keep it up, on any account." 

" Your master's a wery pretty notion of keepin* anythin' up, my 
dear," said Mr. W^eller ; " I never see such a sensible sort of man as he 
is, or such a reg'lar gen'l'm'n." 

"Oh, that he is!" said the fat boy, joining in the conversation ; 
" don't he breed nice pork I" and the fat youth gave a semi-cannibalic 
•eer at Mr. Weiler, as he thought of the roast legs and gravy. 

" Oh, you've woke up, at last, have you ? " said Sam. 

The fat boy nodded. 

" I'll tell you what it is, young boa constructer," said Mr. Weiler, 
impressively, " if you don't sleep a little less, and exercise a little more, 
Y«n vou cpmes to be a man you'll lay yourself open to the same sort 


o* personal inconwenience as was inflicted on the old gen'l'm'u as wore 
the pig^-tail." 

"What did they do to him?" inquired the fat boy, in a faltering- 

" I'm a g^oin' to tell you," replied Mr. Weller ; " he was one o' the 
]arg"est patterns as was ever turned out — reg'lar fat man, as hadn't caught 
a glimpse of his own shoes for five-and-forty years." 

" Lor!" exclaimed Emma. 

*' No, that he hadn't, my dear," said Mr. Weller, " and if you'd 
put an exact model of his own legs on the dinin* table afore him, he 
wouldn't ha* known 'em. Well, he always walks to his office with 
a wery handsome gold watch-chain hanging out, about a foot and a 
half, and a gold watch in his fob pocket as was worth — I'm afraid to 
say how much, but as much as a watch can be — a large, heavy, round 
manafacter, as stout for a watch, as he was for a man, and with a big 
face in proportion. ' You'd better not carry that 'ere watch/ says the 
old gen'l'ra'n's friends, ' you'll be robbed on it/ says they. * Shall I?' 
says he. * Yes, will you,' says they. * Veil,' says he, * I should like to 
see the thief as could get this here watch out, for I'm blessed if / ever 
can ; it's such a tight fit/ says he, ' and venever I vants to know what's 
o'clock, I'm obliged to stare into the bakers* shops/ he says. Well, 
then he laughs as hearty as if he was a goin* to pieces, and out he walks 
agin' with his powdered head and pig-tail, and rolls down the Strand 
vith the chain hangin' out furder than ever, and the great round watch 
almost bustin' through his grey kersey smalls. There Warn't a pickpocket 
in all London as didn't take a pull at that chain, but the chain 'ud never 
break, and the watch 'ud never come out, so they soon got tired o' drag- 
ging such a heavy old gen'l'm'n along the pavement, and he'd go home 
and laugh till the pig-tail wibrated like the penderlum of a Dutch clock. 
At last, one day the old gen'l m'n was a rollin' along, and he sees a 
pickpocket as he know'd by sight, a-comin' up, arm in arm vith a little 
boy vith a wery large head. ' Hej-e's a game,' says the old gen'l'm'n to 
himself, ' they're a-goin' to have another try, but it won't do.* So he 
begins a chucklin' wery hearty, ven, all of a sudden, the little boy leaves 
hold of the pickpocket's arm, and rushes headforemost straight into the 
old gen'l* m'n's stomach, and for a moment doubled him right up vith the 
pain. 'Murder!' says the old gen'l'm'n. * All right. Sir/ says the 
pickpocket, a whisperin' in his ear. And ven he come straight agin', the 
watch and chain was gone, and what's worse than that, the old gen'l'm'n 's 
digestion was all wrong ever artervards, to the wery last day of his life; 
so just you look about you, young feller, and take care you don't get 
too fat." 

As Mr. Weller concluded this moral tale, with whi(5h the fat boy 
appeared much affected, they all three wended their way to the large 
kitchen, in which the family were by this time assembled, according to 
annual custom on Christmas eve, observed by old Wardle's forefathers 
from time immemorial. 

From the centre of the ceiling of this kitchen, old Wardle had just 
suspended with his own hands a huge branch of misletoe, and this same 


branch of misletoe instantaneously gave rise to a scene of general and 
most delightful struggling and confusion ; in the midst of which Mr. 
Pickwick with a gallantry which would have done honour to a descen- 
dant of Lady Tollimglower herself, took the old lady by the hand, led 
her beneath the mystic branch, and saluted her in all courtesy and 
decorum. The old lady submitted to this piece of practical politeness 
with all the dignity which befitted so important and serious a solemnity, 
but the younger ladies not being so thoroughly imbued with a super- 
stitious veneration of the custom, or imagining that the value of a salute 
is very much enhanced if it cost a little trouble to obtain it, screamed 
and struggled, and ran into corners, and threatened and remonstrated, 
and did every thing but leave the room, until some of the less adven- 
turous gentlemen were on the point of desisting, when they all at once 
found it useless to resist any longer, and submitted to be kissed with a 
good grace. Mr. Winkle kissed the young lady with the black eyes, 
and Mr. Snodgrass kissed Emily; and Mr. Weller, not being particular 
about the form of being under the misletoe, kissed Emma and the other 
female servants, just as he caught them. As to the poor relations, they 
kissed everybody^ not even excepting the plainer portion of the young- 
lady visiters, who, in their excessive confusion, ran right under the 
misletoe, directly it was hung up, without knowing it ! Wardle stood 
with his back to the fire, surveying the whole scene? with the utmost 
satisfaction ; and the fat boy took the opportunity of appropriating to 
his own use, and sum.marily devouring, a particularly fine mince-pie, 
that had been carefully put by, for somebody else. 

Now the screaming had subsided, and faces were in a glow and curls 
in a tangle, and Mr. Pickwick, after kissing the old lady as before-men- 
tioned, was standing under the misletoe, looking with a very pleased 
countenance on all that was passing around him, when the young lady 
with the black eyes, after a litti»>. whispering with the other young ladies, 
made a sudden dart forward, and, putting her arm round Mr. Pickwick's 
neck, saluted him affectionately on the left cheek ; and before Mr. Pick- 
wick distinctly knew what was the matter, he was surrounded by the 
whole body, and kissed by every one of them. 

It was a pleasant thing to see Mr. Pickwick in the centre of the 
group, now pulled this way, and then that, and first kissed on tl^ chin 
and then on the nose, and then on the spectacles, and to hear the peals 
of laughter which were raised on every side ; but it was a still more 
pleasant thing to see Mr. Pickwick, blinded shortly afterwards with a 
silk-handkerchief, falling up against the wall, and scrambling into cor- 
ners, and going through all the mysteries of blindman's buff, with the 
utmost relish for the game, until at last he caught one of the 
poor relations;' and then had to evade the blind-man himself, which 
he did with a nimbleness and agility that elicited the admiration and fi 
applause of all beholders. The poor relations caught just the people 
whom they thought would like it ; and when the game flagged, got caughl 
themselves. When they were all tired of blind-man's buff, there was ». 
great game at snap-dragon, and when fingers enough were burned with 
that, and all the raisins gone, they sat down by the huge fire of blazing. 








logs to a substantial supper, and a mighty bowl of wassail, something" 
smaller than an ordinary wash-house copper, in which the hot apples 
were hissing and bubbling with a rich look, and a jolly sound, that were 
perfectly irresistible. 

'* This," said Mr. Pickwick, looking round him, " this is, indeed, 

"Our invariable custom," replied Mr. Wardle. *• Every body sits 
down with us on Christmas eve, as you see them now — servants and all ; 
and here we wait till the clock strikes twelve, to usher Christmas in, 
and while away the time with forfeits and old stories. Trundle, my boy, 
rake up the fire." 

Up ilew the bright sparks in myriads as the logs were stirred, and the 
deep red blaze sent forth a rich glow, that penetrated into the furthest 
corner of the room, and cast its cheerful tint on every face. 

" Come," said Wardle, " a song — a Christmas song. I'll give you 
one, in default of a better." 

" Bravo," said Mr. Pickwick. 

" Fill up," cried Wardle. " It will be two hours good, before you see 
the bottom of the bowl through the deep rich colour of the wassail ; fill 
up all round, and now for the song." 

Thus saying, the merry old gentleman, in a good, round, sturdy 
voice, commenced without more ado — 

a ar^fistmas OTarol 

I CARE not for Spring ; on his fickle wing 

Let the blossoms and buds be borne : 

He woos them amain with his treacherous rain. 

And he scatters them ere the morn. 

An inconstant elf, he knows not himself, 

Or his owTi changing mind an hour, 

He'll smile in your face, and, with vrry grimace, 

He'll wither your youngest flower. 

Let the Summer sun to his bright home run, 

He shall never be sought by me ; 

When he's dimmed by a cloud 1 can laugh aloud. 

And care not how sulky he be ; 

For his darling child is the madness wild 

That sports in fierce fever's train ; 

And when love is too strong, it don't last long, 

As many have found to their pain. 

A mild harvest night, by the tranquil light 

Of the modest and gentle moon, 

Has a far s\veeter sheen for me, I ween. 

Than the broad and unblushing noon. 

But eveiy leaf awakens my grief, 

As it licth beneath the tree ; 

So let Autumn air be never so fair. 

It by no means agrees with me. 


But my song I troll out, for Christmas stout. 

The hearty, the ti-ue, and the bold ; 

A bumper I drain, and with might and main 

Give three cheers for this Christmas old. 

We'll usher him in with a merry din 

That shall gladden his joyous heart. 

And we 11 keep him up while there's bite or sap, 

And in fellowship good, we'll part. 

In his fine honest pride, he scorns to hide 

One jot of his hard- weather scars ; 

They're no disgrace, for there's much the »amo traoo 

On the cheeks of our bravest tars. 

Then again I sing 'till the roof doth ring, 

And it echoes from wall to wall — 

To the stout old wight, fair welcome to-night, 

As the King of the Seasons all ! 

This song was tumultuously applauded, for friends and dependents 
make a capital audience ; and the poor relations especially were in perfect 
extasies of rapture. Again was the fire replenished, and again went the 
wassj'jl round. 

" How it snows ! " said one of the men, in a low tone. 

" Snows, does it? " said Wardle. 

*' Rough, cold night, Sir," replied the man ; " and there's a wind got 
up, that drifts it across the fields, in a thick white cloud." 

** What does Jem say ? " inquired the old lady. " There ain't any 
thing the matter, is there ? " 

" No, no, mother," replied Wardle; ** he says there's a snow-drift, 
and a wind that's piercing cold. I should know that, by the way it 
rumbles in the chimney." 

" Ah ! " said the old lady, " there was just such a wind, and just such 
a fall of snow, a good many years back, I recollect — ^just five years 
before your poor father died. It was a Christmas eve, too ; and I 
remember that on that very night he told us the story about the goblins 
that carried away old Gabriel Grub." 

" The story about what ? " said Mr. Pickwick. 

" Oh, nothing — nothing," replied Wardle. " About an old sexton, 
that the good people down here suppose to have been carried away by 

" Suppose ! " ejaculated the old lady. " Is there any body hardy 
onough to disbelieve it? Suppose ! Haven't you heard ever since you 
were a child, that he was carried away by the goblins, and don't vou 
know he was ? " 

" Very well, mother, he was, if you like," said Wardle, laughing. 
" He was carried away by goblins, Pickwick ; and there's an end of the 

" No, no," said Mr. Pickwick, "not an end of it, I assure you; for 
must hear how, and why, and all 'ibout \t/' 




Wartlle smiled, as every head was bent forward to bear ; and fillings 
out the wassail with no stinted hand, nodded a health to Mr. Pickwick, 
and began as follows — 

But bless our editorial heart, what a long chapter we have been 
)etrayed into ! We had quite forgotten all such petty restrictions as 
chapters, we solemnly declare. So here goes, to give the goblin a fair 
ttart in a new one. A clear stage and no favour for the goblins, ladies 
md gentlemen, if you please. 



' In an old abbey town, down in this part of the country, a long, 
long while ago — so long, that the story must be a true one, because 
[our great grandfathers implicitly believed it — there officiated as sexton 
land grave-digger in the church-yard, one Gabriel Grub. It by no 
lineans follows that because a man is a sexton, and constantly sur- 
pounded by emblems of mortality, therefore he should be a morose and 
lelancholy man ; your undertakers are the merriest fellows in the 
f'orid, and I once had the honour of being on intimate terms with a 
[mute, who in private life, and off duty, was as comical and jocose a 
little fellow as ever chirped out a devil-may-care song, without a hitch 
[in his memory, or drained off a good stiff glass of grog without stopping 
for breath. But notwithstanding these precedents to the contrary, Ga- 
)riel Grub was an ill-conditioned, cross-grained, surly fellow — a morose 
land lonely man, who consorted with nobody but himself, and an old 
dicker bottle which fitted into his large deep waistcoat pocket; and who 
iyed each merry face as it passed him by, with such a deep scowl of 
lalice and ill-humour, as it was diflScult to meet without feeling some- 
thing the wor^e for. 

*' A little b^^fore twilight one Christmas eve, Gabriel shouldered his 
spade, lighted his lantern, and betook himself towards the old church- 
rard, for he had got a grave to finish by next morning, and feeling very 
low he thought it might raise his spirits perhaps, if he went on with his 
rork at once. As he wended his way, up the ancient stree't, he saw the 
iheerful light of the blazing fires gleam through the old casements, 
md heard the loud laugh and the cheerful shouts of those who were 
ssembled around them ; he marked the bustling preparations for next 
lay's good cheer, and smelt the numerous savoury odours consequent 
thereupon, as they steamed up from the kitchen windows in clouds. All 
this was gall and wormwood to the heart of Gabriel Grub ; and as groups 
»f children, bounded out of the houses, tripped across the road, and 
i^ere met, before they could knock at the opposite door, by half a dozen 
curly-headed little rascals who crowded round them as they flocked up 
stairs to spend the evening in their Christmas games, Gabriel smiled 
grimly, and clutched the handle of his spade with a firmer grasp, as he 


thoug-ht of raeaeles, scarlet-fever, thrush, hoopingf-cough, and a good 
many other sources of consolation beside. 

" In this happy frame of mind, Gabriel strode along, returning a 
short, sullen growl to the good-humoured greetings of such of his neigh- 
bours as now and then passed him, until he turned into the dark lane 
which led to the churchyard. Now Gabriel had been looking forward 
to reaching the dark lane, because it was, generally speaking, a nice 
gloomy mournful place, into which the towns-people did not much care 
to go, except in broad day-light, and when the sun was shining; conse- 
quently he was not a little indignant to hear a young urchin roaring out 
some jolly song about a merry Christmas, in this very sanctuary,- which 
had been called Coffin Lane ever since the days of the old abbey, and 
the time of the shaven-headed monks. As Gabriel walked on, and the 
voice drew nearer, he found it proceeded from a small boy, who was 
hurr}'ing along, to join one of the little parties in the old street, and who, 
partly to keep himself company, and partly to prepare himself for the 
occasion, was shouting out the song at the highest pitch of his lungs. 
So Gabriel waited till the boy came up, and then dodged him into a 
corner, and rapped him over the head with his lantern five or six times, 
just to teach him to modulate his voice. And as the boy hurried away 
with his hand to his head, singing quite a diff'erent sort of tune, Ga- 
briel Grub chuckled very heartily to himself, and entered the church- 
yard, locking the gate behind him. 

" He took off his coat, set down his lantern, and getting into the unfi- 
nished grave, worked at it for an hour or so, with right good will. But 
the earth was hardened with the frost, and it was no very easy matter to 
break it up, and shovel it out ; and although there was a moon, it was a 
very young one, and shed little light upon the grave, which was in the 
shadow of the church. At any other time, these obstacles would have 
made Gabriel Grub very moody and miserable, but he was so well pleased 
with having stopped the small boy's singing, that he took little heed of 
the scanty progress he had made, and looked down into the grave when 
he had finished work for the night, with grim satisfaction, murmuring 
as he gathered up his things — 

Brave lodgings for one, brave lodgings for one, 
A few feet of cold earth, when life is done ; 
, A stone at the head, a stone at the feet, 
A rich, juicy meal for the worms to eat ; 
Eank grass over head, and damp clay around. 
Brave lodgings for one, these, iu holy ground I 

" * Ho ! ho ! * laughed Gabriel Grub, as he sat himself down on a 
flat tombstone which was a favourite resting place of his ; and drew forth 
his wicker bottle. * A coffin at Christmas — a Christmas Box. Ho I 
ho! ho!' 

*' * Ho ! ho ! ho ! repeated a voice which soituded close behind 

" Gabriel paused in some alarm, in the act of raising the wicker bottle 
to his lips, and looked round. The bottom of the oldest grave about 
him, was not more still and quiet, than the churchyard in the pale 



'^:,VJtl..lN '■•%■■ 


moonlight. The cold hoar frost glistened on the tomb Rtones, and 
sparkled like rows of gems among- the stone carving-s of the old church. 
The snow lay hard and crisp upon the ground, and spread over the 
thickly-strewn mounds of earth, so white and smooth a cover, that it 
seemed as if corpses lay there, hidden only by their winding- sheets. 
Not the faintest rustle broke the profound tranquillity of the solemn 
scene. Sound itself appeared to be frozen up, all was so cold and 

" ' It was the echoes, * said Gabriel Grub, raising the bottle to his 
lips again. 

" ' It was 710^," ' said a deep voice. 

*' Gabriel started up, and stood rooted to the spot with astonishment 
and terror ; for his eyes rested on a form which made his ood run 

" Seated on an upright tombstone, close to him, was a strange un- 
earthly figure, whom Gabriel felt at once, was no being of this world. 
His long fantastic legs which might have reached the ground, were 
cocked up, and crossed after a quaint, fantastic fashion ; his sinewy arms 
were bare, and his hands rested on his knees. On his short round body 
he wore a close covering, ornamented with small slashes ; and a short 
cloak dangled at his back ; the collar was cut into curious peaks, which 
served the goblin in lieu of ruff or neckerchief; and his shoes curled up 
at the toes into long points. On his head he wore a broad-brimmed 
J igar loaf hat, garnished with a single feather. The hat was covered 
with the white frost, and the goblin looked as if he had sat on the same 
tombstone very comfortably, for two or three hundred years. He was 
sitting perfectly still ; his tongue was put out, as if in derision ; and he 
was grinning at Gabriel Grub with such a grin as only a goblin could 
call up. 

" ' It was not the echoes," ' said the goblin. 

*' Gabriel Grub was paralysed, and could make no reply. 

" * What do you do here on Christmas eve ? ' said the goblin sternly. 

** * I came to dig a grave Sir, ' stammered Gabriel Grub. 

" ' What man wanders among graves and churchyards on such a night 
as this? ' said the goblin. 

" * Gabriel Grub I Gabriel Grub! ' screamed a wild chorus of voices 
that seemed to fill the church-yard. Gabriel looked fearfully round — 
nothing was to be seen. 

" ' What have you got in that bottle ? ' said the goblin. 

" ' Hollands, Sir,' replied the sexton, trembling more than ever; 
for he had bought it of the smugglers, and he thought that perhaps his 
questioner might be in the excise department of the goblins. 

" ' Who drinks Hollands alone, and in a church-yard, on such a 
night as this?' said the goblin. 

" ' Gabriel Grub ! Gabriel Grub !' exclaimed the wild voices again. 

*' The goblin leered maliciously at the terrified sexton, and then 
raising his voice, exclaimed — 

" ' And who, then, is our fair and lawful prize ?' 

** To this inquiry the invisible chorus replied, in a strain that soundea 


like the voices of many choristers singing to the mighty swell of the 
old church organ — a strain that seemed borne to the sexton's ears upon 
a gentle wind, and to die away as its soft breath passed onward — but the 
burden of the reply was still the same, * Gabriel Grub I Gabriel Grub T 

"* The goblin grinned a broader grin than before, as he said, * Well, 
Gabriel, what do you say to t'his ? ' 

" The sexton gasped for breath. 

" * What do you think of this, Gabriel?' said the goblin, kicking up 
his feet in the air on either side the tombstone, and looking at the 
turned-up points with as much complacency as if he had been con- 
templating the most fashionable pair of Wellingtons in all Bond Street. 

" * It's — it's— very curious, Sir,' replied the sexton, half dead with 
fright, * very curious, and very pretty, but I think I'll go back and 
finish my work. Sir, if you please.' 

" ' Work ! ' said the goblin, * what work ? ' 

" ' The grave, Sir, making the grave,' stammered the sexton. 

'* * Oh, the grave, eh ? ' said the goblin, * who makes graves at a 
time when all other men are merry, and takes a pleasure in it ? ' 

" Again the mysterious voices replied, ' Gabriel Grub ! Gabriel 
Grub I' 

" * I'm afraid my friends want you, Gabriel,' said the goblin, thrusting 
his tongue further into his cheek than ever — and a most astonishing 
tongue it was — ^ I'm afraid my friends want you, Gabriel,' said the 

" * Under favour. Sir,* replied the horror-struck sexton, * I don't 
think they can, Sir ; they don't know me, Sir ; I don't think the gentle- 
men have ever seen me. Sir.' 

" * Oh yes they have^' replied the goblin ; * we know the man with 
the sulky face and the grim scowl, that came down the street to-night, 
throwing his evil looks at the children, and grasping his burying spade 
the tighter. We know the man that struck the boy in the envious 
malice of his heart, because the boy could be merry, and he could not. 
We know him, we know him.* 

" Here the goblin gave a loud shrill laugh, that the echoes returned 
twenty fold, and throwing his legs up in the air, stood upon his head, or 
rather upon the very point of his sugar-loaf hat, on the narrow edge of 
the tombstone, from whence he threw a summerset with extraordinary 
agility, right to the sexton's feet, at which he planted himself in the 
attitude in which tailors generally sit upon the shop-board. 

" ' I — I — am afraid I must leave you. Sir,* said the sexton, making tj 
an effort to move. 

" * Leave usT said the goblin, ' Gabriel Grub going to leave u?;^ 
Ho! ho! ho!' 

" As the goblin laughed, the sexton observed for one instant a bril-^ j 
liant illumination within the windows of the church, as if the wholej 
building were lighted up ; it disappeared, the organ pealed forth a livelyj 
air, and whole troops oT goblins, the very counterpart of the first oneJ 
poured into the churchyard, and began playing at leap-frog with thej 
tombstones, never stopping for an instant to take breath, but overinf 


the highest among them, one after the other, with the most marvellous 
dexterity. The first goblin was a most astonishing leaper, and none of 
the others could come near him ; even in the extremity of his terror the 
sexton could not help observing, that while his friends were content to 
leap over the common-sized gravestones, the first one took the family 
yauits, iron railings and all, with as much ease as if they had been so 
many street posts. 

* At last the game reached to a most exciting pitch ; the organ 
played quicker and quicker, and the goblins leaped faster and faster, 
coiling themselves up, rolling head over heels upon the ground, and 
bounding over the tombstones like foot-balls. The sexton's brain 
whirled round with the rapidity of the motion he beheld, and his legs 
reeled beneath him, as the spirits flew before his eyes, when the goblin 
king suddenly darting towards him, laid his hand upon his collar, and 
sank with him through the earth. 

" When Gabriel Grub had had time to fetch his breath, which the 
rapidity of his descent had for the moment taken away, he found himself 
in what appeared to be a large cavern, surrounded on all sides by crowds 
of goblins, ugly and grim ; in the centre of the room, on an elevated 
seat, was stationed his friend of the churchyard ; and close beside him 
stood Gabriel Grub himself, without the power of motion. 

" ' Cold to-ni^ht,' said the king of the goblins, ' very cold. A glass 
of something warm, here.' 

" At this command, half a dozen officious goblins, with a perpetual 
smile upon their faces, whom Gabriel Grub imagined to be courtiers, on 
that account, hastily disappeared, and presently returned with a goblet 
of liquid fire, which they presented to the king. 

" * Ah!' said the goblin, whose cheeks and throat were quite trans- 
parent, as he tossed down the flame, ' This warms one, indeed : bring 
a bumper of the same, for Mr. Grub.' 

" It was in vain for the unfortunate sexton to protest that he was 
not in tha habit of taking anything warm at night ; for one of the gob- 
lins held him while another poured the blazing liquid down his throat, 
and the whole assembly screeched with laughter as he coughed and 
choked, and wiped away the tears which gushed plentifully from his eyes, 
after swallowing the burning draught. 

" < Ai>d now,' said the king, fantastically poking the taper corner of 
his sugar-loaf hat into the sexton's eye, and thereby occasioning him 
the most exquisite pain — 'And now, show the man of misery and gloom 
4 few of the pictures from our own great storehouse.' 

" As the goblin said this, a thick cloud which obscured the further 
end of the cavern, rolled gradually away, and disclosed, apparently at a 
great distance, a small and scantily furnished, but neat and clean apart- 
ment. A crowd of little children were gathered round a bright fire, 
clinging to their mother's gown, and gambolling round her chair. The 
mother occasionally rose, and drew aside the window-curtain as if to 
look for some expected object ; a frugal meal was ready spread upon the 
table, and an elbow chair was placed near the fire. A knock was heard 
at the door : the mother opened it, and the children crowded round her, 

804 'posthumous papers of 

and clapped their hands for joy, as their father entered. He was wet 
and wean'^, and shook the snow from his garments, as the children 
crowded round him, and seizing his cloak, hat, stick, and gloves, with 
busy zeal, ran with them from the room. Then as he sat down to hig 
meal before the fire, the children climbed about his knee, and the mother 
sat by his side, and all seemed happiness and comfort. 

" But a change came upon the view, almost imperceptibly. Thfe 
scene was altered to a small bed- room, where the fairest and youngest 
child lay dying ; the roses had fled from his cheek, and the light frotid 
his eye ; and even as the sexton looked upon him with an interest he 
had never felt or known before, he died. His young brothers anA 
sisters crowded round his little bed, and seized his tiny hand, so cold 
and heavy ; but they shrunk back from its touch, and looked with awfe 
on his infant face; for calm and tranquil as it was, and*sleeping in rest 
and peace as the beautiful child seemed to be, they saw that he was dead, 
and they knew that he was an angel looking down upon, and blessing 
them, from a bright and happy Heaven. 

" Again the light cloud passed across the picture, and again the sub- 
ject changed. The father and mother were old and helpless now, and 
the number of those about them was diminished more than half; but 
content and cheerfulness sat on every face, and beamed in every eye, as 
they crowded round the fireside, and told and listened to old stories of 
earlier and bygone days. Slowly and peacefully the father sank into 
the grave, and, soon after, the sharer of all his cares and troubles 
followed him to a place of rest and peace. The few, who yet sur- 
vived them, knelt by their tomb, and watered the green turf which 
covered it with their tears ; then rose and turned away, sadly and 
mournfully, but not with bitter cries, or despairing lamentations, for 
they knew that they should one day meet again ; and once more they 
mixed with the busy world, and their content and cheerfulness were 
restored. The cloud settled upon the picture, and concealed it from 
the sexton's view. 

" ' What do you think of that ? ' said the goblin, turning his large 
face towards Gabriel Grub. 

" Gabriel murmured out something about its being very pretty, and 
looked somewhat ashamed, as the goblin bent his fiery eyes upon hira. 

** * You a miserable man!' said the goblin, in a tone of excessive 
contempt. * You !' He appeared disposed to add more, but indignation 
choked his utterance, so he lifted up one of his very pliable legs, and 
flourishing it above his head a little, to insure his aim, administered a 
good sound kick to Gabriel Grub ; immediately after which, all the 
goblins in waiting crowded round the wretched sexton, and kicked hirtt 
without mercy, according to the established and invariable custom of 
courtiers upon earth, who kick whotn royalty kicks, and hug whom 
royalty hugs. 

" ' Show him some more, ' said the king of the goblins. 

" At these words the cloud was again dispelled, and a rich and beau- 
tiful landscape was disclosed to view — there is just such another to thii 
day, within half a mile of the old abbey town. The sun shone from oui 


the clear bine sky, the water sparkled beneath his rays, and the trees 
looked greener, and the flowers more gay, beneath his cheering influence. 
The water rippled on, with a pleasant sound, the trees rustled in the 
light wind that murmured among their leaves, the birds sang upon the 
boughs, and the lark carolled on high, her welcome to the morning. Yes, 
it was morning, the bright, balmy morning of summer; the minutest 
leaf, the smallest blade of grass, was instinct with life. The ant crept 
forth to her daily toil, the butterfly fluttered and basked in the warm rayi 
of the sun ; myriads of insects spread their transparent wings, and re- 
velled in their brief but happy existence. INIan walked forth, elated 
with the scene ; and all was brightness and splendour. 

" * You a miserable man ! ' said the king of the goblins, in a more 
contemptuous tone than before. And again the king of the goblins 
gave his leg A flourish ; again it descended on the shoulders of the sex- 
ton ; and again the attendant goblins imitated the example of their 

" Many a time the cloud went and came, and many a lesson it taught 
to Gabriel Grub, who although his shoulders smarted wit'h pain from 
the frequent applications of the goblin's feet thereunto, looked on with 
an interest which nothing could diminish. He saw that men who 
worked hard, and earned their scanty bread with lives of labour, were 
cheerful and happy ; and that to the most ignorant, the sweet face of 
nature was a never-failing source of cheerfulness and joy. He saw those 
who had been delicately nurtured, and tenderly brought up, cheerful 
under privations, and superior to sufl'ering, that would have crushed 
many of a rougher grain, because they bore within their own bosoms 
the materials of happiness, contentment, and peace. He saw that women, 
the tenderest and most fragile of all God's creatures, were the oftenest 
superior to sorrow, adversity, and distress ; and he saw that it was be- 
cause they bore in their own hearts an inexhaustible well-spring of 
afi'ection and devotedness. Above all, he saw that men like himself, 
Avho snarled at the mirth and cheerfulness of others, were the foulest 
weeds on the fair surface of the earth ; and setting all the good of the 
world against the evil, he came to the conclusion that it was a very 
decent and respectable sort of world after all. No sooner had he formed 
it, than the cloud which had closed over the last picture, seemed to 
settle on his senses, and lull him to repose. One by one, the goblins 
faded from his sight, and as the last one disappeared, he sunk to 

" The day had broken when Gabriel Grub awoke, and found himself 
lying at full length on the flat grave stone in the church yard, with the 
wicker bottle lying empty by his side, and his coat, spade, and lantern, 
all well whitened by the last night's frost, scattered on the ground. 
The stone on which he had first seen the goblin seated, stood bolt up- 
right before him, and the grave at which he had worked, the night 
before, was not far off". At first he began to doubt the reality of his 
adventures, but the acute pain in his shoulders when he attempted to 
rise, assured him that the kicking of the goblins was certainly not ideal. 
He was staggered again, by observing no traces of footsteps in the snow 


on which the goblins had played at leap frog with the grave-stones, hut 
he speedily accounted for this circunastance when he remembered that 
being spirits, they would leave no visible impression behind them. So 
Gabriel Grub got on his feet as well as he could, for the pain in his 
back; and brushing the frost off his coat, put it on, and turned his face 
towards the town. 

" But he was an altered man, and he could not bear the thought of 
returning to a place where his repentance would be scoffed it, and his 
reformation disbelieved. He hesitated for a few moments ; and then 
turned away to wander where he might, and seek his bread elsewhere. 

*^ The lantern, the spade, and the wicker bottle, were found that day 
in the churchyard. There were a great many speculations about the 
sexton's fate at first, but it was speedily determined that he had been 
carried away by the goblins ; and there were not wanting some very 
credible witnesses who had distinctly seen him whisked through the air 
on the back of a chestnut horse blind of one eye, with the hind quarters 
of a lion, and the tail of a bear. At length all this was devoutly 
believed; and the new sexton used to exhibit to the curious for a 
trifling emolument, a good-sized piece of the church weathercock which 
had been accidentally kicked off by the aforesaid horse in his aerial 
flight, and picked up by himself in the churchyard, a year or two 

" Unfortunately these stories were somewhat disturbed by the un- 
looked-for re-appearance of Gabriel Grub himself, some ten years after- 
wards, a ragged, contented, rheumatic old man. He told his story to 
the clergyman, and also to the mayor; and in course of time it began 
to be received as a matter of history, in which form it has con- 
tinued down to this very day. The believers in the weathercock tale, 
having misplaced their confidence once, were not easily prevailed 
upon to part with it again, so they looked as wise as they could, 
shrugged their shoulders, touched their foreheads, and murmured 
something about Gabriel Grub's having drunk all the Hollands, and 
then fallen asleep on the flat tombstone ; and they affected to explain 
what he supposed he had witnessed in the goblin's cavern, by say- 
ing that he had seen the world, and grown wiser. But this opinion, 
which was by no means a popular one at any time, gradually died 
off; and be the matter how it may, as Gabriel Grub was afflicted 
with rheumatism to the end of his days, this story has at least one 
moral, if it teach no better one — and that is, that if a man turns 
sulky and drinks by himself at Christmas time, he may make up his 
mind to be not a bit the better for it, let the spirits be ever so good, 
or let them be even as many degrees beyond proof, as those which 
Gabriel Grub saw, in the goblin's cavern." 




" Well Sam," said Mr. Pickwick as that favoured servitor entered his 
bed-chamber with his warm water, on the morning- of Christmas Day, 
"Still frosty?" 

" Water in the wash-hand basin 's a mask o' ice, Sir," responded Sam. 

" Severe weather, Sam," observed Mr. Pickwick. 

" Fine time for them as is well wropped up, as the Polar Bear said to 
himself, ven he was practising- his skaiting," replied Mr. Weller. 

*' I shall be down in a quarter of an hour, Sam," said Mr. Pickwick, 
untying his nightcap. 

" Wery good. Sir," replied Sam. " There's a couple o' Sawbones 
down stairs." 

*' A couple of what !" exclaimed Mr. Pickwick, sitting up in bed. 

" A couple o' Sawbones," said Sam. 

" What's a Sawbones ? " inquired Mr. Pickwick, not quite certain 
whether it was a live animal, or something to eat. 

" What! don't you know what a Sawbones is, Sir ?" enquired Mr. 
Weller; " I thought every body know'd as a Sawbones was a Surgeon/* 

" Oh, a Surgeon, eh ?" said Mr. Pickwick with a smile. 

" Just that Sir," rephed Sam. " These here ones as is below, though, 
aint reg'lar thorough-bred Sawbones ; they're only in trainin'." 

" In other words they're Medical Students, I suppose ?" said Mr. 

Sam Weller nodded assent. 

"I am glad of it," said Mr. Pickwick, casting his nightcap energeti- 
cally on the counterpane, " They are fine fellows ; very fine fellows, with 
judgments matured by observation and reflection ; and tastes refined by 
reading and study. I am very glad of it." 

" They're a smokin' cigars by the kitchen fire," said Sam. 

" Ah !" observed Mr. Pickwick, rubbing his hands, "overflowings with 
kindly feelings and animal spirits. Just what I like to see !" 

" And one on *em," said Sam, not noticing his master's interruption, 
" one on 'em 's got his legs on the table, and is a drinkin' brandy neat, 
vile the tother one — him in the barnacles — has got a barrel o' oysters 
atween his knees, vich he'« a openin' like steam, and as fast as he eats 
'em, he takes a aim vith the shells at young dropsy, who's a settin' down 
fast asleep, in the chimbley corner." 

A A 


" Eccentricities of genius, Sam/' said Mr. Pickwick. " You may 

Sam did retire accordingly ; and Mr. Pickwick, at the expiration of 
the quarter of an hour, went down to breakfast. 

" Here he is at last," said old Wardle. " Pickwick, this is Miss Allen's 
brother, Mr. Benjamin Allen — Ben we call him, and so may you if you 
like. This gentleman is his very particular friend, Mr. — " 

" Mr. Bob Sawyer," interposed Mr. Benjamin Allen, whereupon Mr. 
Bob Sawyer and Mr. Benjamin Allen laughed in concert. 

Mr. Pic'kwick bowed to Bob Sawyer, ana Bob Sawyer bowed to Mr. 
Pickwick ; Bob and his very particular friend then applied themselves 
most assiduously to the eatables before them ; and Mr. Pickwick had 
an opportunity of glancing at them both 

Mr. Benjamin Allen was a coarse, stout, thick-set young man, with 
black hair cut rather short, and a white face cut rather long. He was 
embellished with spectacles, and wore a white neckerchief. Below his 
single-breasted black surtout, which was buttoned up to his chin, appeared 
the usual number of pepper-and-salt coloured legs, terminating in a pair 
of imperfectly polished boots. Although his coat was short in the 
sleeves, it disclosed no vestige of a linen wristband ; and although 
there was quite enough of his face to admit of the encroachment of a 
shirt collar, it was not graced by the smallest approach to that appen- 
dage. He presented altogether rather a mildewy appearance, and 
emitted a fragrant odour of full-flavoured Cubas. 

Mr. Bob Sawyer, who was habited in a coarse blue coat, which, without 
being either a great coat or a surtout, partook of the nature and quali- 
ties of both, had about him that sort of slovenly smartness, and swag- 
gering gait, which is peculiar to young gentlemen who smoke in the 
streets by day, shout and scream in the same by night, call waiters by 
their christian names, and do various other acts and deeds of an equally 
facetious description. He wore a pair of plaid trousers, and a large 
rough double-breasted waistcoat ; and out of doors, carried a thick stick 
with a big top. He eschewed gloves, and looked, upon the whole, some- 
thing like a dissipated Robinson Crusoe. 

Such were the two worthies to whom Mr. Pickwick was introduced, 
as he took his seat at the breakfast table on Christmas morning. 

*• Splendid morning, gentlemen," said Mr. Pickwick. 

Mr. Bob Sawyer slightly nodded his assent to the proposition, and 
asked Mr. Benjamin Allen for the mustard. 

" Have you come far this morning, gentlemen ?" inquired Mr, Pick- 

" Blue Lion at Muggleton," briefly responded Mr. Allen. 

" You should have joined us last night," said Mr. Pickwick. 

" So we should," replied Bob Sawyer, '^ but the brandy was too good 
to leave in a hurry : wasn't it, Ben ?" 

" Certainly," said Mr. Benjamin Allen ; " and the cigars were not ba£^. 
or the pork chops either : were they. Bob ?" " 

"Decidedly not," said Bob. And the particular friends resumed 


their attack upon the breakfast, more freely than before, as if the recol- 
lection of last night's supper had imparted a new relish to the meal. 

" Peg away, Bob," said Mr. Allen to his companion, encouragingly. 

" So I do," replied Bob Sawyer. And so, to do him justice, he did. 

" Nothing like dissecting, to give one an appetite," said Mr. Bob 
Sawyer, looking round the table. 

Mr. Pickwick slightly shuddered. 

" By the bye, Bob," said Mr. Allen, " have you finished that leg yet ?' 

" Nearly," replied Sawyer, helping himself to half a fowl as bespoke, 
" It's a very muscular one for a child's." 

*' Is it ?" inquired Mr. Allen, carelessly. 

" Very," said Bob Sawyer, with his mouth full. 

** I've put my name down for an arm, ^t our place,'* said Mr. Allen. 
" We're clubbing for a subject, and the list is nearly full, only we can't 
get hold of any fellow that wants a head. I wish you'd take it." 

"No," replied Bob Sawyer; "can't afford expensive luxuries," 

" Nonsense I" said Allen. 

"Can't indeed," rejoined Bob Sawyer. "I wouldn't mind a brain, 
but I couldn't stand a whole head." 

" Hush, hush, gentlemen, pray," said Mr. Pickwick, " I hear the 

As Mr. Pickwick spoke, the ladies, gallantly escorted by Messrs. 
Snodgrass, Winkle, and Tupman, returned from an early walk, 

" Lor, Ben !" said Arabella, in a tone which expressed more surprise 
than pleasure at the sight of her brother. 

" Come to take you home to-morrow," replied Benjamin. 

Mr. Winkle turned pale. 

"Don't you see Bob Sawyer, Arabella?" enquired Mr. Benjamin 
Alien, somewhat reproachfully. Arabella gracefully held out her hand, 
in acknowledgment of Bob Sawyer's presence. A thrill of hatred struck 
to Mr. Winkle's heart, as Bob Sawyer inflicted on the proffered hand a 
perceptible squeeze. 

"Ben dear!" said Arabella, blushing; " have-^have— you been in- 
troduced to Mr. Winkle ? " 

" I have not been, but I shall be very happy to be, Arabella," replied 
her brother gravely. Here Mr. Allen bowed grimly to Mr. Winkle, 
while Mr. Winkle and Mr. Bob Sawyer glanced mutual distrust out of 
the corners of their eyes. 

The arrival of the two new visitors, and the consequent check upon 
Mr. Winkle and the young lady with the fur round her boots, would in 
all probability have proved a very unpleasant interruption to the hila- 
rity of the party, had not the cheerfulness of Mr. Pickwick, and the 
good humour of the host, been exerted to the very utmost for the com- 
mon weal. Mr. Winkle gradually insinuated himself into the good 
graces of Mr. Benjamin Allen, and even joined in a friendly conversa- 
tion with Mr. Bob Sawyer ; who, enlivened with the brandy, and the 
breakfast, and the talking, gradually ripened into a state of extreme 
facetiousness, and related with much glee an agreeable anecdote, about 
the removal of a tumour on some gentleman's head, which he illustrated 

A a2 


by means of an oyster-knife and a half-quartern loaf, to the great edifi- 
cation of the assembled company. Then the whole train went to 
church, where Mr. Benjamin Allen fell fast asleep ; while Mr. Bob 
Sawyer abstracted his thoughts from worldly matters, by the ingenious 
process of carving his name on the seat of the pew, in corpulent letters 
of about four inches long. 

" Now," said Wardle, after a substantial lunch, with the agreeable 
items of strong-beer and cherry-brandy, had been done ample justice to ; 
*' what say you to an hour on the ice ? We shall have plenty of 

" Capital !" said Mr. Benjamin Allen. 

"Prime !" ejaculated Mr. Bob Sawyer. 

*' You skait, of course. Winkle ?" said Wardle. 

•'* Ye—yes ; oh, yes ;" replied Mr. Winkle. " I — I — am rather out 
of practice." 

" Oh, do skait, Mr. Winkle," said Arabella. " I like to see it so 

" Oh, it is so graceful," said another young lady. 

A third young lady said it was elegant, and a fourth expressed her 
opinion that it was " swan-like." 

" I should be very happy, I'm sure," said Mr. Winkle, reddening ; 
" but I have no skaits." 

This objection was at once overruled. Trundle had got a couple of 
pair, and the fat boy announced that there were half-a-dozen more, down 
stairs, whereat Mr. Winkle expressed exquisite delight, and looked 
exquisitely uncomfortable. 

Old Wardle led the way to a pretty large sheet of ice ; and the fat 
boy and Mr. Weller, having shovelled and swept away the snow which 
had fallen on it during the night, Mr. Bob Sawyer adjusted his skaits 
with a dexterity which to Mr. Winkle was perfectly marvellous, and 
described circles with his left leg, and cut figures of eight; and inscribed 
upon the ice, without once stopping for breath, a great many other 
pleasant and astonishing devices, to the excessive satisfaction of Mr. 
Pickwick, Mr. Tupman, and the ladies; which reached a pitch of positive 
enthusiasm, when old Wardle and Benjamin Allen, assisted by the afore- 
said Bob Sawyer, performed some muystic evolutions, which they called 
a reel. 

All this time, Mr. Winkle, with his face and hands blue with the 
cold, had been forcing a gimlet into the soles of his feet, and putting 
his skaits on, with the points behind, and getting the straps into a very 
complicated and entangled state, with the assistance of Mr. Snodgrass, 
who knew rather less about skaits t!han a Hindoo. At length, however, 
with the assistance of Mr. Weller, the unfortunate skaits were firmly 
screwed and buckled on, and Mr. Winkle was raised to his feet. 

" Now, then. Sir," said Sam, in an encouraging tone ; " off vith 
you, and show 'em bow to do it." 

*' Stop, Sam, stop," said Mr. Winkle, trembling violently, and clutch- 
ing hold of Sam's arms with the grasp of a drowning man. " How 
slippery it is, Sam I " 


•* Not au uncommon thing" upon ice. Sir," replied Mr. Weller. 
" Hold up, Sir." 

This last observation of Mr. Weller's bore reference to a demonstra- 
tion Mr. Winkle made at the instant, of a frantic desire to throw his 
feet in the air, and dash the back of his head on the ice. 

" These — these — are very awkward skaits ; ain't they, Sam ? " en- 
quired Mr. Winkle, staggering. 

" I'm afeerd there's an orkard gen'lm'n in 'em, Sir," replied Sam. 

" Now, Winkle," cried Mr. Pickwick, quite unconscious that there 
was anything the matter. *' Come ; the ladies are all anxiety." 

"Yes, yes," replied Mr. Winkle, with a ghastly smile. "I'm coming." 

" Just a goin' to begin," said Sam, endeavouring to disengage himself. 
" Now, Sir, start off." 

" Stop an instant, Sam," gasped Mr. Winkle, clinging most affec- 
tionately to Mr. Weller. "I find I've got a couple of coats at home, that 
I don't want, Sam. You may have them, Sam." 

" Thank'ee, Sir," replied Mr. Weller. 

" Never mind touching your hat, Sam," said Mr. Winkle, hastily. 
" You needn't take your hand away, to do that. I meant to have given 
you five shillings this morning for a Christmas-box, Sam. I'll give it 
you this afternoon, Sam." 

*' You're wery good, Sir," replied Mr. Weller. 

" Just hold me at first, Sam; will you?" said Mr. Winkle. " There 
— that's right. I shall soon get in the way of it, Sam. Not too fast, 
Sam ; not too fast." 

Mr. Winkle, stooping forward with his body half doubled up, was 
being assisted over the ice by Mr. Weller, in a very singular and 
un-swan-like manner, when Mr. Pickwick most innocently shouted from 
the opposite bank — 

" Sam !" 

« Sir?" said Mr. Weller. 

" Here. I want you." 

•* Let go. Sir," said Sam. " Don't you hear the governor a callin' ? 
Let go. Sir." 

With a violent effort, Mr. Weller disengaged himself from the grasp 
of the agonized Pickwickian ; and, in so doing, administered a consider- 
able impetus to the unhappy Mr. Winkle. With an accuracy which 
no degree of dexterity or practice could have ensured, that unfortunate 
gentleman bore swiftly down into the centre of the reel, at the very 
moment when Mr. Bob Sawyer was performing a flourish of unparalleled 
beauty. Mr. Winkle struck wildly against him, and with a loud crash 
they both fell heavily down. Mr. Pickwick ran to the spot. Boh Saw- 
yer had risen to his feet, but Mr. Winkle was far too wise to do any- 
thing of the kind in skaits. He was seated on the ice, making spasmo- 
dic efforts to smile ; but anguish was depicted on every lineament of his 

*' Are you hurt ?" enquired Mr. Benjamin Allen, with great 

" Not much," said Mr. Wrinkle, rubbing his back very hard. 


" I wish you'd let me bleed you/' said Mr. Bfeiijamin with great eager- 

" No, thauk you," feplied Mr. Winkle hurriedly. 

" I really think yoU had better," said Allen. 

«' Thank you," replied Mr. Winkle ; " I'd rather not." 

" W hat do you think, Mr. Pickwick ? " enquired Bob Sawyer. 

Mr. Pickwick was excited and indignant. He beckoned to Mr. Wel- 
ler, and said in a stern voice, " Take his skaits off." 

" No ; but really I had scarcely begun," remonstrated Mr. Winkle. 

" Take his skaits off," repeated Mr. Pickwick firmly. 

The command was not to be resisted. Mr. Winkle allowed Sam to 
obey it, in silence. 

<' Lift him up," said Mr. Pickwick. Sam assisted him to rise. 

Mr. Pickwick retired a few paces apart from the by-standers ; and, 
beckoning his friend to approach, fixed a searching look upon him, and 
uttered in a low, but distinct and emphatic tone, these remarkable 
words : 

" You're a humbug. Sir." 

" A what !^' said Mr. Winkle, starting. 

" A humbug, Sir. I will speak plainer, if you wish it. An impostor, 

With these words, Mr. Pickwick turned slowly on his heel, and 
rejoined his friends. 

While Mr. Pickwick was delivering himself of the sentiment just 
recorded, Mr. Weller and the fat boy, having by their joint endeavours 
cut out a slide, were exercising themselves thereupon, in a very masterly 
and brilliant manner. Sam Weller, in particular, was displaying that 
beautiful feat of fancy sliding which is currently denominated " knock- 
ing at the cobbler's door," and which is achieved by skimming over the 
ice on one foot, and occasionally giving a two-penny postman's knock 
upon it, with the other. It was a good long slide, and there was some- 
thing in the motion which Mr. Pickwick, who was very cold with stand- 
ing still, could not help envying. 

" It looks a nice warm exercise that, doesn't it?" he enquired of 
Wardle, when that gentleman was thoroughly oiit of breath, by reason 
of the indefatigable manner in which he had converted his legs into a 
pair of compasses, and drawn complicated problems on the ice. 

'* Ah, it does, indeed," replied Wardle. " Do you slide ?" 

*' I used to do so, on the gutters, when I was a boy," replied Mr. 

" Try it now," said Wardle. 

" Oh do, please, Mr. Pickwick," cried all the ladies. 

" I should be very happy to afford you any amusement," replied Mr. 
Pickwick, " but I haven't done such a thing these thirty years." 

"Pooh! pooh! nonsense!" said Wardle, dragging off his skaits 
with the impetuosity which characterised all his proceedings. " Here; 
I'll keep you company ; come along." And away went the good tem- 
pered old fellow down the slide, with a rapidity which came very close 
upon Mr. Weller, and beat the fat boy all to nothing. 


Mr. Pickwick paused, considered, pulled off his gloves and put them 
in his hat, took two or three short runs, baulked himself as often, and 
at last took another run and went slowly and gravely down the slide, 
with his feet about a yard and a quarter apart, amidst the gratified shouts 
of all the spectators. 

" Keep the pot a bilin', Sir," said Sam ; and down went Wardle again, 
and then Mr. Pickwick, and then Sara, and then Mr. Winkle, and then 
Mr. Bob Sawyer, and then the fat boy, and then Mr. Snodgrass, follow- 
ing closely upon each other's heels, and running after each other with 
as much eagerness as if all their future prospects in life depended on 
their expedition. 

It was the most intensely interesting thing, to observe the manner in 
which Mr. Pickwick performed his share in the ceremony: to watch the 
torture of anxiety with which he viewed the person behind, gaining 
upon him at the imminent hazard of tripping him up : to see him gra- 
dually expend the painful force which he had put on at first, and turn 
slowly round on the slide, with his face towards the point from which he 
had started : to contemplate the playful smile which mantled on his face 
when he had accomplished the distance, and the eagerness with which 
he turned round when he had done so, and ran after his predecessor, his 
black gaiters tripping pleasantly through the snow, and his eyes beam- 
ing cheerfulness and gladness through his spectacles. And when he 
was knocked down, (which happened upon the average every third round), 
it was the most invigorating sight that can possibly be imagined, to 
behold him gather up his hat, gloves, and handkerchief, with a glowing 
countenance, and resume his station in the rank, with an ardour and 
enthusiasm which nothing could abate. 

The sport was at its height, the sliding was at the quickest, the 
laughter was at the loudest, when a sharp smart crack was heard. 
There was a quick rush towards the bank, a wild scream from the ladies, 
and a shout from Mr. Tupman. A large mass of ice disappeared, the 
water bubbled up over it, and Mr. Pickwick's hat, gloves, and handker- 
chief were floating on the surface ; and this was all of Mr. Pickwick that 
anybody could see. 

Dismay and anguish were depicted on every countenance ; the males 
tuvned pale, and the females fainted ; Mr. Snodgrass and Mr. Winkle 
grasped each other by the hand, and gazed at the spot where their leader 
bad gone down, with frenzied eagerness ; while Mr. Tupman, by way 
r»f rendering the promptest assistance, and at the same time conveying 
to any persons who might be within hearing the clearest possible notion 
of the catastrophe, ran off across the country at his utmost speed, 
screaming " Fire ! " with all his might and main. 

It was at this very moment, when old Wardle and Sam Weller were 
approaching the hole with cautious steps, and Mr. Benjamin Allen was 
holding a hurried consultation with Mr. Bob Sawyer, on the advisability 
of bleeding the company generally, as an improving little bit of profes- 
sional practice — it was at this very moment that a face, head, and 
shoulders emerged from beneath the water, and disclosed the features 
and spectacles of Mr. Pickwick 



** Keep yourself up for an inst'ant — for only one instant," bawled Mr. 

" Yes, do ; let me implore you — for my sake," roared Mr. Winkle, 
deeply affected. The adjuration was rather unnecessary ; the probability 
being, that if Mr. Pickwick had declined to keep himself up for any- 
body else's sake, it would have occurred to him that he might as well 
do so, for his own. 

" Do you feel the bottom there, old fellow ?" said Wardle. 

"Yes, certainly," replied Mr. Pickwick, wringing the water from his 
head and face, and gasping for breath. " 1 fell upon my back. I couldn't 
get on my feet at first." 

The clay upon so much of Mr. Pickwick's coat as was yet visible, 
bore testimony to the accuracy of this statement ; and as the fears of 
the spectators were still farther relieved by the fat boy's suddenly 
recollecting that the water was nowhere more than five feet deep, 
prodigies of valour were performed to get him out. After a vast quan- 
tity of splashing, and cracking, and struggling, Mr. Pickwick was at 
length fairly extricated from his unpleasant position, and once more 
stood on dry land. 

" Oh, he'll catch his death of cold," said Emily. 

" Dear old thing I" said Arabella. " Let me wrap this shawl round 
you, Mr. Pickwick." 

" Ah, that's the best thing you can do," said Wardle ; " and when 
you've got it on, run home as fast as your legs can carry you, and jump 
into bed directly." 

A dozen shawls were offered on the instant ; and three or four of the 
thickest having been selected, Mr. Pickwick was wrapped up, and 
started off, under the guidance of Mr. Weller ; presenting the singular 
phenomenon of an elderly gentleman dripping wet, and without a hat, 
with his arms bound down to his sides, skimming over the ground with- 
out any clearly defined purpose, at the rate of six good English miles an 

But Mr. Pickwick cared not for appearances in such an extreme case, 
and urged on by Sam Weller, he kept at the very top of his speed until 
he reached the door of Manor Farm, where Mr. Tupman had arrived 
some five minutes before, and had frightened the old lady into palpita- 
tions of the heart, by impressing her with the unalterable conviction 
that the kitchen chimney was on fire — a calamity which always pre- 
sented itself in the most glowing colours to the old lady's mind, when 
anybody about her evinced the smallest agitation. 

Mr. Pickwick paused not an instant until he was snug in bed. Sam 
Weller lighted a blazing fire in the room, and took up his dinner ; a 
bowl of punch was carried up afterwards, and a grand carouse held in 
honour of his safety. Old Wardle would not hear of his rising, so they 
made the bed the chair, and Mr. Pickwick presided. A second and a 
third bowl were ordered in ; and when Mr. Pickwick awoke next morn- 
ing, there was not a symptom of rheumatism about him, which proves, 
as Mr. Bob Sawyer very justly observed, that there is nothing like hot 
punch in such cases, and that if ever hot punch did fail to act as a pre- 



ventive, it was merely because the patient fell into the vulgar error of 
not taking enough of it. 

The jovial party broke up next morning. Breakings up are capital 
things in our school days, but in after life they are painful enough. 
Death, self-interest, and fortune's changes, are every day breaking 
up many a happy group and scattering them far and wide ; and the boys 
and girls never come back again. We do not mean to say that it was 
exactly the case in this particular instance ; all we wish to inform the 
reader is, that the dififerent members of the party dispersed to their 
several homes ; that Mr. Pickwick and his friends once more took their 
seats on the top of the Muggleton coach ; and that Arabella Allen 
repaired to her place of destination, wherever it might have been — we 
dare say Mr. Winkle knew, but we confess we don't — under the care 
and guardianship of her brother Benjamin, and his most intimate and 
particular friend, Mr. Bob Sawyer. 

Before they separated, however, that gentleman and Mr. Benjamin 
Allen drew Mr. Pickwick aside with an air of some mystery ; and Mr. 
Bob Sawyer thrusting his forefinger between two of Mr. Pickwick's ribs, 
and thereby displaying his native drollery, and his knowledge of the 
anatomy of the human frame, at one and the same time, enquired — 

" I say, old boy, where do you hang out ?" 

Mr. Pickwick replied that he was at present suspended at the George 
and Vulture. 

" I wish you'd come and see me," said Bob Sawyer. 

" Nothing would give me greater pleasure," replied Mr. Pickwick. 

" There's my lodgings," said Mr. Bob Sawyer, producing a card, 
" Lant Street, Borough ; it's near Guy's, and handy for me you know. 
Little distance after you've passed Saint George's Church — turns. out of 
the High Street on the right hand side the way." 

" I shall find it," said Mr. Pickwick. 

'^ Come on Thursday fortnight, and bring the other chaps with you," 
said Mr. Bob Sawyer, " I'm going to have a few medical fellows that 

Mr. Pickwick expressed the pleasure it would aiford him to meet the 
medical fellows ; and after Mr. Bob Sawyer had informed him that he 
meant to be very cosey, and that his friend Ben was to be one of the 
party, they shook hands and separated. 

We feel that in this place we lay ourself open to the enquiry whether 
Mr. Winkle was whispering, during this brief conversation, to Arabella 
Allen, and if so, what he said • and furthermore, whether Mr. Snodgrass 
was conversing apart with tEmily Wardle, and if so, what he said. To 
this, we reply, that whatever they might have said to the ladies, they 
said nothing at all to Mr. Pickwick or Mr. Tupman for eight-and-twenty 
miles, and that they sighed very often, refused ale and brandy, and 
looked gloomy. If our observant lady readers can deduce any satisfac- 
tory inferences from these facts, we beg them by all means to do so. 




Scattered about, in various holes and corners of the Temple, are 
certain dark and dirty chambers, in and out of which, all the morning" 
in Vacation, and half the evening too in Term time, there may be seen 
constantly hurrying with bundles of papers under their arms, and pro- 
truding from their pockets, an almost uninterrupted succession of 
Lawyers' Clerks. There are several grades of Lawyers' Clerks. 
There is the Articled Clerk, who has paid a premium, and is an attorney 
in perspective, who runs a tailor's bill, receives invitations to parties, 
knows a family in Gower Street and another in Tavistock Square, 
goes out of town every Long Vacation to see his father, who keeps 
live horses innumerable ; and who is, in short, the very aristocrat of 
clerks. There is the salaried clerk — out of door, or in door, as the 
case may be — who devotes the major part of his thirty shillings a week 
to his personal pleasure and adornment, repairs half-price to the 
Adelphi at least three times a week, dissipates majestically at the cider 
cellars afterwards, and is a dirty caricature of the fashion, which expired 
six months ago. There is the middle-aged copying clerk, with a large 
family, who is always shabby, and often drunk. And there are the 
oifice lads in their first surtouts, who feel a befitting contempt for boys 
at day-schools, club as they go home at night, for saveloys and porter, 
and think there's nothing like " life." There are varieties of the 
genus too numerous to recapitulate, but however numerous they may 
be, they are all to be seen, at certain regulated business hours, hurrying 
to and from the places we have just mentioned. 

These sequestered nooks are the public offices of the legal profession, 
where writs are issued, judgments signed, declarations filed, and numer- 
ous other ingenious little machines put in motion for the torture and 
torment of His Majesty's liege subjects, and the comfort and emolu- 
ment of the practitioners of the law. They are, for the most part, low- 
roofed, mouldy rooms, where innumerable rolls of parchment, which have 
been perspiring in secret for the last century, send forth an agreeable 
odour, which is mingled by day with the scent of the dry rot, and by 
night with the various exhalations which arise from damp cloaks, fester- 
ing umbrellas, and the coarsest tallow candles. 

About half-past seven o'clock in the evening, some ten days or ft^a 
fortnight after Mr. Pickwick and his friends returned to London, ther^^^ 
hurried into one of these ofl&ces, an individual in a brown coat and brass 
buttons, whose long hair was scrupulously twisted round the rim of his 
napless hat, and whose soiled drab trousers were so tightly strapped over 
his Blucher boots, that his knees threatened every moment to start from 
their concealment. He produced from his coat pockets a long and nar- 
row strip of parchment, on which the presiding functionary impressed an, 


illegible black stamp. He then drew forth four scraps of paper, of 
similar dimensions, each containing a printed copy of the strip of parch- 
ment with blanks for a name ; and having filled up the blanks, put all 
the five documents in his pocket, and hurried away. 

The man in the brown coat with the cabalistic documents in his 
pocket, was no other than our old acquaintance INIr. Jackson, of the 
house of Dodson and Fogg, Freeman's Court, Cornhill. Instead of 
returning to the ofiice from whence he came, however, he bent his steps 
direct to Sun Court, and walking straight into the George and Vulture, 
demanded to know whether one Mr. Pickwick was within. 

" Call Mr. Pickwick's servant, Tom," said the barmaid of the George 
and Vulture. 

" Don't trouble yourself," said ^Ir. Jackson, " I've come on business. 
If you'll show me Mr. Pickwick's room, I'll step up myself." 
" What name. Sir ?" said the waiter. 
" Jackson," replied the clerk. 

The waiter stepped up stairs to announce Mr. Jackson, but Mr. Jack- 
son saved him the trouble by following close at his heels, and walking 
into the apartment before he could articulate a syllable. 

Mr. Pickwick had that day invited his three friends to dinner ; and 
they were all seated round the fire, drinking their wine, when Mr. Jack- 
son presented himself, as above described. 

" How de do. Sir," said Mr. Jackson, nodding to Mr. Pickwick. 
That gentleman bowed, and looked somewhat surprised, for the phy- 
siognomy of Mr. Jackson dwelt not in his recollection. 

" I have called from Dodson and Fogg's," said Mr. Jackson, in an 
explanatory tone. 

Mr. Pickwick roused at the name. " I refer you to my attorney 
Sir : Mr. Perker, of Gray's Inn," said he. " Waiter, show this gentle- 
man out." 

" Beg your pardon, Mr. Pickwick," said Jackson, deliberately deposit- 
ing his hat on the floor, and drawing from his pocket the strip of parch- 
ment. " But personal service, by clerk or agent, in these cases, you 
know, Mt. Pickwick — eh. Sir ? nothing like caution, Sir, in all legal 
forms — eh ?" 

Here Mr. Jackson cast his eye on the parchment ; and, resting his 
hands on the table, and looking round with a winning and persuasive 
smile, said, " Now come ; don't let's have no words about such a little 
matter as this. Which of you gentlemen's name's Snodgrass ? " 

At this inquiry, Mr. Snodgrass gave such a very undisguised and palp- 
able start, that no further reply was needed. 

" Ah I I thought so," said Mr. Jackson, more afifably than before. 
" I've got a little something to trouble you with. Sir." 
"Me !" exclaimed Mr. Snodgrass. 

" It's only a suhpcena in Bardell and Pickwick on behalf of the plain- 
tiflF," replied Jackson, singling out one of the slips of paper, and produc- 
ing a shilling from his waistcoat-pocket. " It'll come on, in the set- 
tens after Term; fourteenth of Febooary, we expect ; we've marked it a 
special jury cause, and it's only ten down the paper. That's yours, Mr. 


Snodgrass." As Jackson said this, he presented the parchment before the 
eyes of Mr. Snodgrass, and slipped the paper and the shilling into his 

Mr. Tupman had witnessed this process in silent astonishment, when 
Jackson, turning sharply upon him, said : 

" I think I ain't mistaken when I say your name's Tupman, am I ?" 

Mr. Tupman looked at Mr. Pickwick ; but, perceiving no encourage- 
ment in that gentleman's widely-opened eyes to deny his name, said : 

" Yes, my name is Tupman, Sir." 

"And that other gentleman's Mr. Winkle, I think," said Jackson. 

Mr. Winkle faltered out a reply in the afiSrmative ; and both gen- 
tlemen were forthwith invested with a slip of paper, and a shilling each, 
by the dexterous Mr. Jackson. 

" Now," said Jackson, " I'm afraid you'll think me rather trouble- 
some, but I want somebody else, if it ain't inconvenient. I have Samuel 
Weller's name here, Mr. Pickwick." 

" Send my servant here, waiter," said Mr. Pickwick. The waiter 
retired, considerably astonished, and Mr. Pickwick motioned Jackson to 
a seat. 

There was a painful pause, which was at length broken by the inno- 
cent defendant. 

" I suppose. Sir," said Mr. Pickwick, his indignation rising while he 
spoke ; '* I suppose, Sir, that it is the intention of your employers to 
seek to criminate me, upon the testimony of my own friends ? " 

Mr. Jackson struck his fore-finger several times against the left 
side of his nose, to intimate that he was not there to disclose the secrets 
of the prison-house, and playfully rejoined, 

*' Not knowin', can't say." 

" For what other reason. Sir," pursued Mr. Pickwick, " are these 
subpoenas served upon them, if not for this ?" 

" Very good plant, Mr. Pickwick," replied Jackson, slowly shaking 
his head. " But it won't do. No harm in trying, but there's little 
to be got out of me." 

Here Mr. Jackson smiled once more upon the company ; and, apply- 
ing his left thumb to the tip of his nose, worked a visionary coffee-mill 
with his right hand, thereby performing a very graceful piece of panto- 
mime (then much in vogue, but now, unhappily, almost obsolete) which 
was familiarly denominated " taking a grinder." 

" No, no, Mr. Pickwick," said Jackson in conclusion ; " Perker's 
people must guess what we've served these subpoenas for. If they can't, 
they must wait till the action comes on, and then they'll find out." 

Mr. Pickwick bestowed a look of excessive disgust on his unwelcome 
visitor, and would probably have hurled some tremendous anathema at 
the heads of Messrs. Dodson and Fogg, had not Sam's entrance at the 
instant interrupted him. 

*' Samuel Weller?" said Mr. Jackson, enquiringly. 

" Vun o' the truest things as you've said for many a long year,*'repli 
Sam, in a most composed manner. 

" Here's a subpoena for you, Mr, Weller," said .fackson. 



What's that in English ?' enquired Sam. 

" Here's the original," said Jackson, declining the required explana- 

"Which?" said Sam. 

" This," replied Jackson, shaking the parchment. 

" Oh, that's the 'rig'nal, is it ?" said Sam. " Well, I'm wery glad 
I've seen the 'rig'nal, 'cos it's a gratifyin' sort o' thing, and eases vun's 
mind so much." 

" And here's the shilling," said Jackson. " It's from Dodson and 

" And it's uncommon handsome o' Dodson and Fogg, as knows so 
little of me, to come down vith a present," said Sam. " I feel it as a 
wery high compliment. Sir; and it's a wery hon'rahle thing to them, as 
they knows how to reward merit verever they meets it. Besides vich, 
it's wery aiFectin' to one's feelin's." 

As Mr. Weller said this, he inflicted a little friction on his right eye- 
lid, with the sleeve of his coat, after the most approved manner of actors 
when they are in domestic pathetics. 

Mr. Jackson seemed rather puzzled by Sam's proceedings ; but, as 
he had served the subpoenas, and had nothing more to say, he made a 
feint of putting on the one glove which he usually carried in his hand, 
for the sake of appearances ; and returned to the office to report pro- 

Mr. Pickwick slept little that night ; his memory had received a very 
disagreeable refresher on the subject of Mrs. Bardell's action. He 
breakfasted betimes next morning ; and, desiring Sam to accompany 
him, set forth towards Gray's Inn square. 

" Sam !" said Mr. Pickwick, looking round, when they got to the end 
of Cheapside. 

" Sir?" said Sam, stepping up to his master. 

"Which way?" 

" Up Newgate-street." 

Mr. Pickwick did not turn round immediately, but looked vacantly 
in Sam's face for a few seconds, and heaved a deep sigh. 

" What's the matter. Sir ? " enquired Sam. 

" This action, Sam," said Mr. Pickwick, " is expected to come on, on 
the fourteenth of next month." 

'* Remarkable coincidence that 'ere. Sir," replied Sam. 

** Why remarkable, Sam ?" enquired Mr. Pickwick. 

"Walentine's day. Sir," responded Sam; " reg'lar good day for a breach 
o' promise trial." 

Mr. Weller's smile awakened no gleam of mirth in his master's coun- 
tenance. Mr. Pickwick turned abruptly round, and led the way in 

They had walked some distance, Mr. Pickwick trotting on before, 
plunged in profound meditation, and Sam following behind, with a coun- 
tenance expressive of the most enviable and easy defiance of everything 
and everybody, when the latter, who was always especially anxious to 
impart to his master any exclusive information he possessed, quickened 


his pace until he was close at Mr, Pickwick's heels ; and, pointing up 
at a house they were passing, said, 

*' Wery nice pork-shop that 'ere. Sir." 

" Yes, it seems so," said Mr. Pickwick. 

" Celebrated Sassage factory," said Sara. 

'* Is it ? " said Mr. Pickwick. 

"Is it!" reiterated Sam with some indignation; "I should rayther 
think it was. Why sir, bless your innocent eyebrows, that's vere the 
mysterious disappearance of a respectable tradesman took place, four 
year ago." 

" You don't mean to say he was burked, Sam ?" said Mr. Pickwick, 
looking hastily round. 

*' No I don't indeed, Sir," replied Mr. Weller, " I vish I did ; far worse 
than that. He was the master o' that 'ere shop, Sir, and the inwenter o* 
the patent-never-leavin-off sassage steam 'ingine, as ud swaller up a 
pavin' stone if you put it too near, and grind it into sassages as easy as 
if it was a tender young babby. Wery proud o' that machine he 
was, as it was nat'ral he should be ; and he'd stand down in the celler 
a lookin' at it, ven it was in full play, till he got quite melancholy with 
joy, A wery happy man he'd ha* been, Sir, in the procession o' that 
'ere ingine and two more lovely hinfants besides, if it hadn't been for his 
wife, who was a most ow-dacious wixin. She was always a follerin' him 
about, and dinnin' in his ears 'till at last he couldn't stand it no longer, 
' I'll tell you what it is, my dear,' he says one day ; ' If you persewere 
in this here sort of amusement,' he says, ' I'm blessed if I don't go away to 
'Merriker ; and that's all about it.' ' You're a idle willin,' says she, 
' and I wish the 'Merrikins joy of their bargin.' Arter vich she keeps 
on abusin' him for half an hour, and then runs into the little parlour 
behind the shop, sets to a screarain', says he'll be the death on her, and 
falls in a fit, which lasts for three good hours — one o' them fits which is 
all screamin' and kickin*. Well, next mornin', the husband was missin'. 
He hadn't taken nothin' from the till, — hadn't even put on his great 
coat, so it was quite clear he warn't gone to 'Merriker. Didn't come 
back next day, didn't come back next week ; the Missis had bills printed 
sayin' that, if he'd come back, he should be forgiven everything (which 
was very liberal, seein' that he hadn't done nothin' at all,) all the canals 
was dragged, and for two months arterwards venever a body turned up, it 
was carried, as a reg'lar thing, straight off to the sassage shop. Hows'- 
ever none on 'em answered, so they gave out that he'd run avay, and 
she kept on the bis'ness. One Saturday night, a little thin old gen'lm'n 
comes into the shop in a great passion and says, ' Are you the missis o' 
this here shop ?' ' Yes I am,' says she. * Well Ma'am,' says he, ' then 
I've just looked in to say, that me and my family ain't a goin' to be 
choaked for nothin' ; and more than that Ma'am,' he says, ' you'll allow 
me to observe, that as you don't use the primest parts of the meat in the 
manafacter o' sassages, I think you'd find beef come nearly as cheap 
as buttons.' * Buttons, Sir !' says she. * Buttons, Ma'am,' says the little 
old gentleman, unfolding a bit of paper, and she win' twenty or thirty 
halves o' buttons. * Nice seasonin* for sassages, is trousers' buttons, 


Ma'am/ * They're my husband's buttons,' says the widder, beginnin' to 
faint. * What I' screams the little old gen'lm'n, turnin' wery pale. *I 
see it all,' says the widder ; ' in a fit of temporary insanity he rashly 
converted his-self into sassages !* And so he had, Sir/' said Mr. Weller, 
looking steadily into Mr. Pickwick's horror-stricken countenance, " or 
else he'd been draw'd into the ingine, but however that might ha' been, 
the little old gen'lm'n, who had been remarkably partial to sassages all 
his life, rushed out o' the shop in a wild state, and was never heerd on 
artervards I " 

The relation of this affecting incident of private life, brought master 
and man to Mr. Perker's chambers. Lowten, holding the door half 
open, was in conversation with a rustily-clad, miserable looking man, in 
boots without toes, and gloves without fingers. There were traces of 
privation and suffering — almost of despair — in his lank and care-worn 
countenance ; he felt his poverty, for he shrunk to the dark side of the 
staircase as Mr. Pickwick approached. 

" It's very unfortunate," said the stranger with a sigh. 

" Very," said Lowten, scribbling his name on the door post with his 
pen and rubbing it out again with the feather. " Will you leave a mes- 
sage for him ? " 

" When do you think he'll be back ? " enquired the stranger. 

" Quite uncertain," replied Lowten, winking at Mr. Pickwick, as the 
stranger cast his eyes towards the ground. 

" You don't think it would be of any use my waiting for him ?" said 
the stranger, looking wistfully into the office. 

" Oh no, I'm sure it wouldn't," replied the clerk, moving a little more 
into the centre of the door-way. " He's certain not to be back this 
week, and it's a chance whether he will, next, for when Perker once 
gets out of town, he's never in a hurry to come back again." 

" Out of town !" said Mr. Pickwick; " dear me, how unfortunate !" ' 

*' Don't go away, Mr. Pickwick," said Lowten, '^ I've got a letter for 
you." The stranger seeming to hesitate, once more looked towards the 
ground, and the clerk winked slily at Mr. Pickwick as if to intimate that 
some exquisite piece of humour was going forward ; though what it was, 
Mr. Pickwick could not, for the life of him, divine. 

" Step in, Mr. Pickwick," said Lowten. " Well, will you leave a mes-. 
sage, Mr. Watty, or will you call again ? " 

" Ask him to be so kind as to leave out word what has been done in 
my business/' said the man ; " for God's sake don't neglect it, Mr. 

" No, no ; I won't forget it/' replied the clerk. " Walk in, Mr. Pick- 
wick. Good morning, Mr. Watty ; it's a fine day for walking, isn't 
it?" And, seeing that the stranger still lingered, he beckoned Sam 
Weller to follow his master in, and shut the door in his face. 

" There never was such a pestering bankrupt as that, since the world 
began, I do believe !" said Lowten, throwing down his pen with the air 
of an injured man. " His affairs haven't been in chancery quite four 
years yet, and I'm d — d if he don't come worrying here twice a-week. 
Step this way, Mr. Pickwick. Perker is in, and he'll see you, J know. 


Devilish cold," he added pettishly, " standing at that door, wasting one's 
time with such seedy vagabonds." And, having very vehemently stirred 
a particularly large £re with a particularly small poker, the clerk led the 
way to his principal's private room, and announced Mr. Pickwick. 

" Ah, my dear Sir," said little Mr. Perker, hustling up from his chair ; 
"Well, my dear Sir, and what's the news about your matter — eh? Any- 
thing more about our friends in Freeman's-court ? They've not been 
sleeping, / know that. Ah, they're very smart fellows — very smart, 

As the little man concluded, he took an emphatic pinch of snuff, as 
a tribute to the smartness of Messrs. Dodson and Fogg, 

" They are great scoundrels," said Mr. Pickwick. 

"Aye, aye," said the little man ; "that's a mere matter of opinion, 
you know, and we won't dispute about terms ; because of course you 
can't be expected to view these subjects with a professional eye. Well, 
we've done everything that's necessary. I have retained Serjeant Snub- 

" Is he a good man ? " enquired Mr. Pickwick. 

" Good man ! " replied Perker ; " bless your heart and soul, my dear 
Sir, Serjeant Snubbin is at the very top of his profession. Gets treble 
the business of any man in court — engaged in every] case. You 
needn't mention it abroad ; but we say — we of the profession — that Ser- 
jeant Snubbin leads the court by the nose." 

The little man took another pinch of snuif as he made this communi- 
cation, and nodded mysteriously to Mr. Pickwick. 

" They have subpoena'd my three friends," said Mr. Pickwick. 

" Ah ! of course they would," replied Perker. " Important wit- 
nesses ; saw you in a delicate situation." 

" But she fainted of her own accord," said Mr. Pickwick. " She 
threw herself into my arms." 

" Very likely, my dear Sir," replied Perker ; " very likely and very 
natural. Nothing more so, my dear Sir — nothing. But who's to 
prove it ? " 

"They have subpoena'd my servant too," said Mr. Pickwick, quitting 
the other point ; for there Mr. Perker's question had somewhat staggered 

" Sam ?" said Perker. 

Mr. Pickwick repHed in the affirmative. 

" Of course, my dear Sir ; of course. I knew they would ; I could 
have told i/ou that, a month ago. You know, my dear Sir, if you will 
take the management of your affairs into your own hands after entrust- 
ing them to your Solicitor, you must also take the consequences." Here 
Mr. Perker drew himself up with conscious dignity, and brushed some 
stray grains of snuff from his shirt frill. 

" And what do they want him to prove?" asked Mr. Pickwick, after 
two or three minutes' silence. 

" That you sent him up to the Plaintiff's to make some ofier of a 
compromise, I suppose," replied Perker. " It don't matter much, though 
I don't think many counsel could get a great deal out of him," 


" I don't think they could," said Mr. Pickwick ; smilinpf, despite his 
vexation, at the idea of Sam's appearance as a witness, " What course 
do we pursue ? ** 

" We have only one to adopt, my dear Sir," replied Perker ; ** cross- 
examine the witnesses, trust to Snubbin's eloquence, throw dust in the 
eyes of the judge ; and ourselves on the jury." 

" And suppose the verdict is against me ?" said Mr. Pickwick. 

Mr. Perker smiled, took a very long pinch of snuff, stirred the fire, 
shrugged his shoulders, and remained expressively silent. 

*' You mean that in that case I must pay the damages ? " said Mr. 
Pickwick, who had watched this telegraphic answer with considerable 

Perker gave the fire another very unnecessary poke, and said " I am 
afraid so." 

" Then I beg to announce to you, my unalterable determination to 
pay no damages whatever," said Mr. Pickwick most emphatically. 
*' None, Perker. Not a pound, not a penny, of my money shall find its 
way into the pockets of Dodson and Fogg. That is my deliberate 
and irrevocable determination." And Mr. Pickwick gave a heavy blow 
on the table beside him, in confirmation of the irrevocability of his 

" Very well, my dear Sir, very well," said Perker. *' You know best, 
of course." 

" Of course," replied Mr. Pickwick hastily. *• Where does Serjeant 
Snubbin live ? " 

** In Lincoln's Inn Old Square," replied Perker. 

" I should like to see him," said Mr. Pickwick. 

" See Serjeant Snubbin, my dear Sir ! " rejoined Perker, in utter 
amazement. " Pooh, pooh, my dear Sir, impossible. See Serjeant 
Snubbin ! Bless you, my dear Sir, such a thing was never heard 
of, without a consultation fee being previously paid, and a consultation 
fixed. It couldn't be done, my dear Sir ; it couldn't be done." 

Mr. Pickwick, however, had made up his mind not only that it could 
bfe done, but that it should be done ; and the consequence was, that 
within ten minutes after he had received the assurance that the thing 
was impossible, he was conducted by his solicitor into the outer office 
of the great Serjeant Snubbin himself. 

It was an uncarpeted room of tolerable dimensions, with a large 
writing-table drawn up near the fire, the baize top of which had long 
since lost all claim to its original hue of green, and had gradually 
grown grey with dust and age, except where all traces of its natural 
colour were obliterated by ink-stains. Upon the table were numerous 
little bundles of papers tied with red tape ; and behind it, sat an elderly 
clerk, whose sleek appearance and heavy gold watch-chain presented 
imposing indications of the extensive and lucrative practice of Mr. 
Serjeant Snubbin. 

"Is the Serjeant in his room, Mr. Mallard?" inquired Perker, 
ofiering his box with all imaginable courtesy. 

" Yes he is," was the reply, " but he's very busy. Look here ; not 

B B 


an opinion given yet, on any one of these cases; and an expedition 
fee paid with all of them." The clerk smiled as he said this, and 
inhaled the pinch of snuff with a zest which seemed to be compounded 
of a fondness for snuff and a relish for fees. 

" Somethings like practice that," said Perker. 

" Yes," said the barrister's clerk, producing his own box, and offering 
it with the greatest cordiality ; " and the best of it, is, that as nobody 
alive except myself can read the Serjeant's writing, they are obliged to 
wait for the opinions, when he has given them, till I have copied 'em, 
ha — ha — ha I " 

'' Which makes good for we know who, besides the Serjeant, and 
draws a little more out of the clients, eh ? " said Perker ; " Ha, ha, ha !" 
At this the Serjeant's clerk laughed again — not a noisy boisterous laugh, 
but a silent, internal chuckle, which Mr. Pickwick disliked to hear. 
When a man bleeds inwardly, it is a dangerous thing for himself; but 
when he laughs inwardly, it bodes no good to other people. 

*' You haven't made me out that little list of the fees that I'm itt 
your debt, have you ? " said Perker. 

" No, I have not," replied the clerk. 

" I wish you would," said Perker. " Let me have them, and I'll 
send you a cheque. But I suppose you're too busy pocketing the ready 
money, to think of the debtors, eh ? ha, ha, ha !" This sally seemed 
to tickle the clerk amazingly, and he once more enjoyed a little quiet 
laugh to him.self. 

" But, Mr. Mallard, my dear friend," said Perker, suddenly recovering 
his gravity, and drawing the great man's great man into a corner, by 
the lappel of his coat, " you must persuade the Serjeant to see me, 
and my client here." 

" Come, come," said the clerk, *' that's not bad either. See the 
Serjeant ! come, that's too absurd." Notwithstanding the absurdity of 
the proposal, however, the clerk allowed himself to be gently drawn 
bevond the hearing* of Mr. Pickwick ; and after a short conversation 
conducted in whispers, walked softly down a little dark passage and 
disappeared into the legal luminary's sanctum, from whence he shortly 
returned on tiptoe, and informed Mr. Perker and Mr. Pickwick that 
the Serjeant had been prevailed upon, in violation of all his established 
rules and customs, to admit them at once. 

Mr. Serjeant Snubbin was a lantern-faced sallow-complexioned man, 
of about five-and-forty, or — as the novels say — he might be fifty. H6 
had that dull-looking boiled eye which is so often to be seen in the heads 
of people who have applied themselves during many years to a weary 
and laborious course of study ; and which would have been sufficient, 
without the additional eye-glass which dangled from a broad black 
riband round his neck, to warn a stranger that he was very near-sighted. 
His hair was thin and weak, which was partly attributable to his having 
never devoted much time to its arrangement, and partly to his having 
worn for five-and-twenty years the forensic wig which hung on a block 
beside him. The marks of hair-powder on his coat-collar, and the ill- 
washed and worse tied white neckerchief round his throat, showed that 


he had not found leisure since he left the court to make any alteration 
in his dress ; while the slovenly style of the remainder of his costurae 
warranted the inference that his personal appearance would not have 
been very much improved if he had. Books of practice, heaps of 
papers, and opened letters, were scattered over the table without any 
attempt at order or arrangement ; the furniture of the room was old 
and rickety; the doors of the book-case were rotting in their hinges; 
the dust flew out from the carpet in little clouds at every step ; the 
blinds were yellow with age and dirt ; and the state of every thing in 
the room showed, with a clearness not to be mistaken, that Mr. Serjeant 
Snubbin was far too much occupied with his professional pursuits to 
talie any great heed or regard of his personal comforts. 

The Serjeant was writing when his clients entered ; he bowed abstract- 
edly when Mr. Pickwick was introduced by his solicitor ; and then, 
motioning them to a seat, put his pen carefully in the inkstand, nursed 
his left leg, and waited to be spoken to. 

" Mr. Pickwick is the defendant in Bardell and Pickwick, Serjeant 
Snubbin," said Perker. 

" I am retained in that, am I ? " said the Serjeant. 

" You are. Sir," replied Perker. 

The Serjeant nodded his head, and waited for something else. 

"Mr. Pickwick was anxious to call upon you, Serjeant Snubbip." 
said Perker, " to state to you, before you entered upon the case, that 
he denies there being any ground or pretence whatever for the action 
against him ; and that unless he came into court with clean hands, and 
without the most conscientious conviction that he was right in resisting 
the plaintiff's demand, he would not be there at all. I believe I state 
your views correctly ; do I not, my dear Sir ?" said the little man, turning 
to Mr. Pickwick. 

" Quite so," replied that gentleman. 

Mr. Serjeant Snubbin unfolded his glasses, raised them to his eyes; 
and, after looking at Mr. Pickwick for a few seconds with great curiosity, 
turned to Mr. Perker, and said, smiling slightly as he spoke — 

" Has Mr. Pickwick a strong case ? " 

The attorney shrugged his shoulders. 

" Do you purpose calling witnesses ? " 

« No." 

The smile on the Serjeant's countenance became more defined ; he 
rocked his leg with increased violence ; and, throwing himself back in his 
easy-chair, coughed dubiously. 

These tokens of the Serjeant's presentiments on the subject, slight as 
they were, were not lost on ]Mr. Pickwick. He settled the spectacles, 
through which he had attentively regarded such demonstrations of the 
barrister's feeling as he had permitted himself to exhibit, more firmly on 
his nose ; and said with great energy, and in utter disregard of all Mr. 
Perker's admonitory winkings and frownings — 

" My wishing to wait upon you for such a purpose as this, Sir, 
appears, I have no doubt, to a gentleman who sees so much of these 
matters as you must necessarily do, a very extraordinary circum- 
stance." B B 2 


The Serjeant tried to look gravely at the fire, but the smile came 
back again. 

" Gentlemen of your profession, Sir," continued Mr. Pickwick, " see 
the worst side of human nature — all its disputes, all its ill-will and bad 
blood, rise up before you. You know from your experience of juries 
(I mean no disparagement to you, or them) how much depends upon 
effect : and you are apt to attribute to others, a desire to use, for pur- 
poses of deception and self-interest, the very instruments which you, in 
pure honesty and honour of purpose, and with a laudable desire to do 
your utmost for your client, know the temper and worth of so well, 
from constantly employing them yourselves. I really believe that to 
this circumstance may be attributed the vulgar but very general notion 
of your being, as a body, suspicious, distrustful, and over-cautious. 
Conscious as I am. Sir, of the disadvantage of making such a declara- 
tion to you, under such circumstances, I have come here, because I wish 
you distinctly to understand, as my friend Mr. Perker has said, that I 
am innocent of the falsehood laid to my charge ; and although I am very 
well aware of the inestimable value of your assistance, Sir, I must 
beg to add, that unless you sincerely believe this, I would rather be 
deprived of the aid of your talents than have the advantage of them." 

Long before the close of this address, which we are bound to say was 
of a very prosy character for Mr. Pickwick, the Serjeant had relapsed 
into a state of abstraction. After some minutes, however, during which 
he had reassumed his pen, he appeared to be again aware of the pre- 
sence of his clients ; and, raising his head from the paper, said, rather 
snappishly — 

" Who's with me in this case ? " 

" Mr. Phunky, Serjeant Snubbin," replied the attorney. 

" Phunky — Phunky," said the Serjeant ; " I never heard the name 
before. He must be a very young man." 

♦' Yes, he is a very young man," replied the attorney. " He was 
only called the other day. Let me see — oh, he hasn't been at the Bar 
eight years yet." 

** Ah, I thought not," said the Serjeant, in that sort of pitying tone 
in which ordinary folks would speak of a very helpless little child. "Mr. 
Mallard, send round to Mr. — Mr. — " 

" Phunky's — Holborn Court, Gray's Inn/' interposed Perker— 
(Hoi born Court, by the bye, is South Square now) — " Mr. Phunky 
and say I should be glad if he'd step here, a moment." 

Mr. Mallard departed to execute his commission ; and Serjeat 
Snubbin relapsed into abstraction until Mr. Phunky himself wa» 

Although an infant barrister, he was a full-grown man. He had a 
very nervous manner, and a painful hesitation in his speech ; it did not 
appear to be a natural defect, but seemed rather the result of timidity, 
arising from the consciousness of being " kept down " by want of means, 
or interest, or connexion, or impudence, as the case might be. He was 
overawed by the Serjeant, and profoundly courteous to the attorney. 

" I have not had the pleasure of seeing you before, Mr. Phunky," 
said Serjeant Snubbin, with haughty condescension. 

.< -w '"^^ 




Mr. Phunky bowed. He hSd had the pleasure of seeing the Serjeant, 
ind of envying him too, with all a poor man's envy, for eight years and a 

" You are with me in this case, I understand ?" said the Serjeant. 

If Mr. Phunky had been a rich man, he would have instantly sent 
for his clerk to remind him ; if he had been a wise one, he would have 
applied his fore-finger to his forehead, and endeavoured to recollect whe- 
ther in the multiplicity of his engagements he had undertaken this one, 
or not : but as he was neither rich nor wise (in this sense at all events) 
he turned red, and bowed. 

" Have you read the papers, Mr. Phunky ?" inquired the Serjeant. 

Here again Mr. Phunky should have professed to have forgotten all 
about the merits of the case ; but as he had read such papers as had been 
laid before him in the course of the action, and had thought of nothing 
else, waking or sleeping, throughout the two months during which he 
had been retained as Mr. Serjeant Snubbin's junior, he turned a deeper 
red, and bowed again. 

*' This is Mr. Pickwick," said the Serjeant, waving his pen in the 
direction in which that gentleman was standing. 

Mr. Phunky bowed to Mr. Pickwick with the reverence which a first 
client must ever awaken ; and again inclined his head towards his leader. 

" Perhaps you will take Mr. Pickwick away," said the Serjeant, 
"and — and — and — hear anything Mr. Pickwick may wish to communi- 
cate. We shall have a consultation, of course." With this hint that he 
had been interrupted quite long enough, Mr. Sergeant Snubbin, who had 
been gradually growing more and more abstracted, applied his glass to 
his eyes for an instant, bowed slightly round, and was once more deeply 
immersed in the case before him, which arose out of an interminable law- 
suit, originating in the act of an individual, deceased a century or so 
ago, who had stopped up a pathway leading from some place which, 
nobody ever came from, to some other place which nobody ever went to. 

Mr. Phunky would not hear of passing through any door until Mr. 
Pickwick and his solicitor had passed through before him, so it was 
some time before they got into the Square ; and when they did reach it, 
they walked up and down, and held a long conference, the result of 
which, was, that it was a very difficult matter to say how the verdict 
would go ; that nobody could presume to calculate on the issue oi an 
action ; that it was very lucky they had prevented the other party from 
getting Serjeant Snubbin ; and other topics of doubt and consolation, 
common in such a position of affairs. 

Mr. Weller was then roused by his master from a sweet sleep of an 
hour's duration ; and, bidding adieu to Lowten, they returned to the City, 

Q'2S POSTHUMOUS papers of 



There is a repose about Lant Street, in the Borough, which 
sheds a gentle melancholy upon the soul. There are always a good 
many houses to let in the street : it is a bye-street too, and its dulness 
is soothing. A house in Lant Street would not come within the deno- 
mination of a first-rate residence, in the strict acceptation of the term ; 
but it is a most desirable spot nevertheless. If a man wished to abstract 
himself from the world ; to remove himself from within the reach of 
temptation ; to place himself beyond the possibility of any inducement 
to look out of the window, we should recommend him by all means to 
go to Lant Street. 

In this happy retreat are colonised a few clear-starchers, a sprinkling 
of journeymen bookbinders, one or two prison agents for the Insolvent 
Court, several small housekeepers who are employed in the Docks, a 
handful of mantua-makers, and a seasoning of jobbing tailors. The 
majority of the inhabitants either direct their energies to the letting ot 
furnished apartments, or devote themselves to the healthful and invigo- 
rating pursuit of mangling. The chief features in the still life of the 
street, are green shutters, lorlging-bills, brass door-plates, and bell- 
handles ; the principal specimens of animated nature, the pot-boy, the 
muffin youth, and the baked-potato man. The population is migratory, 
urually disappearing on the verge of quarter-day, and generally by night. 
His Majesty's revenues are seldom collected in this happy valley, the 
rents are dubious, and the water communication is very frequently cut 

Mr. Bob Sawyer embellished one side of the fire, in his first-floor front, 
early on the evening for which he had invited Mr. Pickwick ; and Mr. 
Ben Allen the other. The preparations for the reception of visiters 
appeared to be completed. The umbrellas in the passage had been 
heaped into the little corner outside the back-parlour door ; the bonnet 
and shawl of the landlady's servant had been removed from the bannis- 
ters ; there were not more than two pair of pattens on the street-door 
mat ; and a kitchen candle, with a very long snuff, burnt cheerfully on 
the ledge of the staircase window. Mr. Bob Sawyer had himself pur- 
chased the spirits at a wine vaults in High Street, and had returned 
home preceding the bearer thereof, to preclude the possibility of their 
delivery at the wrong house. The punch was ready-made in a red pan 
in the bed-room ; a little table, covered with a green baize cloth, had been 
borrowed from the parlour, to play at cards on ; and the glasses of the 
establishment, together with those which had been borrowed for the 



^■^deposited on the landings outside the door. 

Notwithstanding the highly satisfactocy nature of all these arrange- 
ments, there was a cloud on the countenance of Mr. Bob Sawyer, as he 
sat by the fire side. There was a sympathising expression, too, in the 
features of Mr. Ben Allen, as he gazed intently on the coals ; and a 
tone of melancholy in his voice, as he said, after a long silence — 

" Well, it if unlucky that she should have taken it in her head to 
turn sour, just on this occasion. She might at least have waited till 

" That's her malevolence ; that's her malevolence," returned Mr. 
Bob Sawyer vehemently. " She says that if I can afford to give a party 
I ought to be able to afford to pay her confounded ' little bill'." 

" How long has it been running?" inquired Mr. Ben Allen. A bill, 
by the bye, is the most extraordinary locomotive engine that the genius 
of man ever produced. It would keep on running during the longest 
life-time, without ever once stopping of its own accord. 

"Only a quarter, and a month or so," replied Mr. Bob Sawyer. 

Ben Allen coughed hopelessly, and directed a searching look between 
the two top bars of the stove. 

" It'll be a deuced unpleasant thing if she takes it into her head to let 
out, when those fellows are here, won't it ? " said Mr. Ben Allen at 

" Horrible," replied Bob Sawyer, " horrible." 

A low tap was heard at the room door. Mr. Bob Sawyer looked 
expressively at his friend, and bade the tapper come in ; whereupon a 
dirty slipshod girl in black cotton stockings, who might have passed for 
the neglected daughtei of a superannuated dustman in very reduced 
circumstances, thrust in her head, and said, 

" Please, Mister Savvyer, Missis Raddle wants to speak to i/ou." 

Before Mr. Bob Sawyer could return any answer, the girl suddenly 
disappeared with a jerk, as if somebody had given her a violent pull 
behind ; this mysterious exit was no sooner accomplished, than there 
was another tap at the door — a smart pointed tap, which seemed to say, 
" Here I am, and in I'm coming." 

Mr. Bob Sawyer glanced at his friend with a look of abject appre- 
hension, and once more cried " Come in." 

The permission was not at all necessary, for, before Mr. Bob Sawyer 
had uttered the words, a little fierce woman bounced into the room, all 
in a tremble with passion, and pale with rage. 

" Now Mr. Sawyer," said the little fierce woman, trying to appear very 
calm-, " if you'll have the kindness to settle that little bill of mine I'll 
thank you, because I've got my rent to pay this afternoon, and my land- 
lord's a waiting below now." Here the little woman rubbed her hands, 
and looked steadily over Mr. Bob Sawyer's head, at the wall behind him. 

" I am very sorry to put you to any inconvenience, Mrs. Raddle," 
said Bob Sawyer deferentially, " but — " 

" Oh, it isn't any inconvenience," replied the little woman, with a 
shrill titter. " I didn't want it particular before to-day ; leastways> a» 


it has to go to my landlord directly, it was as well for you to keep it as 
me. You promised me this afternoon, Mr. Sawyer, and every gentleman 
as has ever lived here has kept his word, Sir, as of course anybody as 
calls himself a gentleman, does." And Mrs. Raddle tossed her head, 
bit her lips, rubbed her hands harder, and looked at the wall more 
steadily than ever. It was plain to see, as Mr. Bob Sawyer remarked 
in a style of eastern allegory on a subsequent occasion, that she was 
"getting the steam up." 

" I am very sorry, Mrs. Raddle," said Bob Sawyer with all imaginable 
humility, " but the fact is, that I have been disappointed in the City 
to-day." — Extraordinary place that city. We know a most astonishing 
number of men who always are getting disappointed there. 

" Well, Mr. Sawyer," said Mrs. Raddle, planting herself firmly on a 
purple cauliflower in the Kidderminster carpet, " and what's that to me, 

" I — I — have no doubt, Mrs. Raddle," said Bob Sawyer, blinking this 
last question, " that before the middle of next week we shall be able to 
set ourselves quite square, and go on on a better system, afterwards." 

This was all Mrs. Raddle wanted. She had bustled up to the 
apartment of the unlucky Bob Sawyer so bent upon going into a pas- 
sion, that in all probability payment would have rather disappointed her 
than otherwise. She was in excellent order for a little relaxation of 
the kind, having just exchanged a few introductory compliments with 
Mr. R. in the front kitchen. 

" Do you suppose, Mr. Sawyer," said Mrs. Raddle, elevating her 
voice for the information of the*neighbours, " do you suppose that I'm 
a-going day after day to let a fellar occupy my lodgings as never thinks 
of paying his rent, nor even the very money laid out for the fresh butter 
and lump sugar that's bought for his breakfast, and the very milk that's 
took in, at the street door? Do you suppose a hard-working and 
industrious woman as has lived in this street for twenty years (ten 
years over the way, and nine years and three quarters in this very house) 
has nothing else to do, but to work herself to death after a parcel of lazy 
iale fellars, that are always smoking and drinking, and lounging, when 
they ought to be glad to turn their hands to anything that would help 
*em to pay their bills? Do you — " 

*' My good soul," interposed Mr. Benjamin Allen, soothingly. 

" Have the goodness to keep your observashuns to yourself Sir, I 
beg," said Mrs. Raddle, suddenly arresting the rapid torrent of her 
speech, and addressing the third party with impressive slowness and so- 1 
lemnity. " I am not aweer. Sir, that you have any right to address youri 
conversation to me. I don't think I let these apartments to you, Sir."] 

*' No, you certainly did not," said Mr. Benjamin Allen. 

" Very good. Sir," responded Mrs. Raddle, with lofty politeness. 
" Then p'raps. Sir, you'll confine yourself to breaking the arms and legs 
of the poor people in the hospitals, and keep yourself to yourself Sir,« 
or there may be some persons here as will make you, Sir." 

" But you are such an unreasonable woman," remonstrated Mr. 
Benjamin Allen. • 


" I beg your parding, young man," said Mrs. Raddle, in a cold per- 
spiration of anger. " But will you have the goodness just to call me 
that, again. Sir?" 

*' I didn't make use of the word in any invidious manner, ma'am," 
replied Mr. Benjamin Allen, growing somewhat uneasy on his own 

" I beg your parding, young man," demanded Mrs. Raddle in a louder 
and more imperative tone. *' But who do you call a woman ? Did 
you make that remark to me. Sir ? " 

" Why, bless my heart I" said Mr. Benjamin Allen. 

" Did you apply that name to me, I ask of you, Sir ?" interrupted 
Mrs. Raddle with intense fierceness, throwing the door wide open. 

'' Why, of course I did," replied Mr. Benjamin Allen. 

*' Yes, of course you did," said Mrs. Raddle, backing gradually to 
the door, and raising her voice to its loudest pitch, for the special behoof 
of Mr. Raddle in the kitchen. " Yes, of course you did, and everybody 
knows that they may safely insult me in my own ouse while my hus- 
band sits sleeping down stairs, and taking no more notice than if I was 
a dog in the streets. He ought to be ashamed of himself (here Mrs. 
Raddle sobbed) to allow his wife to be treated in this way by a parcel 
of young cutters and carvers of live people'^ bodies, that disgraces the 
lodgings (another sob), and leaving her exposed to all manner of abuse ; 
a base faint-hearted, timorous wretch, that's afraid to come up stairs, and 
face the ruffinly creatures — that's afra»d — that's afraid to come," Mrs. 
Raddle paused to listen whether the repetition of the taunt had roused 
her better half ; and, finding that it had not been successful, proceeded to 
descend the stairs with sobs innumerable, when there came a loud dou- 
ble knock at the street door : whereupon she burst into an hysterical 
fit of weeping, accompanied with dismal moans, which was prolonged 
until the knock had been repeated six times, when, in an uncontrollable 
burst of mental agony, she threw down all the umbrellas, and disap- 
peared into the back parlour, closing the door after her with an awful crash. 

" Does Mr. Sawyer live here ? " said Mr. Pickwick, when the door 
was opened. 

'• Yes," said the girl, " first floor. It's the door straight afore you, 
when you gets to the top of the stairs." — Having given this instruc- 
tion, the handmaid, who had been brought up among the aboriginal in- 
habitants of Southwark, disappeared with the candle in her hand down 
the kitchen stairs, perfectly satisfied that she had done every thing that 
could possibly be required of her under the